Student Nomination Story

Mrs. Keith is an exceptional teacher who has truly changed my son’s life. As a veteran kindergarten teacher with 19 years of experience, she somehow still has limitless energy and enthusiasm. She fosters a warm dynamic among her students that feels more like a family than a classroom. Under her watch, each child is a valuable, irreplaceable member of the group throughout the learning process. Her lively stories, songs, poems, and rhymes brighten my son's days as she welcomes her students into the wonderful world of literacy. Students engage with hands-on mathematics, investigate intriguing science inquiries, and explore the world around them through exciting social studies lessons and field trips. My son was diagnosed with an expressive speech disorder called Childhood Speech Apraxia and has struggled in the past to fully connect with his peers due to anxiety and more limited speech ability. Under Mrs. Keith’s kind, loving, nurturing care this year, however, my son has truly thrived! He has blossomed in his self-confidence and considers his classmates to be his 25 closest friends because of the caring environment she has cultivated among the kids. When he required a medical procedure in the fall, she offered to come to the hospital and also had cookies delivered to our house from a local bakery (accompanied with a signed card from the entire class.) When the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in March, Mrs. Keith expertly transitioned her class of 26 kindergarteners onto the Web. Her virtual classroom consists of daily Zoom meetings that are both fun and engaging (which, for six and seven-year-olds, is no easy task). Furthermore, she video conferences with individual students who need additional instruction or enrichment and with any parents who require technical assistance. She also takes time to record a detailed recap of the day's lessons to share with students who were unable to log in that day. Mrs. Keith is actively working on earning her certification as a National Board Certified Teacher, an arduous process involving in-depth research and reflection upon one’s teaching practice. It is the most respected professional certification available to a K-12 teacher and I have no doubt that she will achieve it due to her unmatched ability to captivate and motivate young learners. She is independently pursuing this prestigious title simply to continue sharpening her teaching practice and to model to her students what it means to be a “lifelong learner.” I will forever be grateful that my son was placed in Mrs. Keith’s kindergarten class this year. Thanks to her, he has flourished academically, developed numerous genuine friendships, and carries a deep sense of belonging. For these reasons, Mrs. Keith deserves to be recognized for being an exceptional, life-changing teacher.

Liam Francis

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.