SCHERERVILLE | Watson Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kim Yelich has been nominated for the May Indiana Department of Education Community Prize for Excellence in the Classroom Award.
Community members may vote for Yelich who is one of three finalists for the award and the sole Northwest Indiana nominee, through noon May 31 at http://www.doe.in.gov/improvement/educator-effectiveness/community-choice-educator-award.
Yelich has been teaching kindergarten for 20 years, 19 of those at Watson Elementary School. She has a Master’s Degree in Administration from Indiana University Northwest.
“Kim Yelich is not 'just' a teacher,” Watson parent Angie Burton said. “As she puts it, she is the 'manager of the world's greatest resource.’”
Burton added, “Kim Yelich truly does go above and beyond for her students. She spends money out of her own pocket to create amazing memory binders so that parents have a visual of the entire school year and we can see
how much our children have grown. This year each child has over 100 photos in their binder - x 20 students, that's a lot of money out of her pocket so that parents can have this memory. She spends countless hours before and after school working on projects such as these - the past few weeks she has not left the school before 6pm and at least 2 days last week she was there until past 10pm.
She serves on numerous committees and works diligently to better the school and learning environment for all students. Kindergarten has certainly changed over
the years, yet the dedication and creativity and passion for teaching she has shown has only increased.”
Burton said the testament of why Yelich is so deserving of the Community Choice for Excellence in the Classroom award has been best expressed by parents, former students and co-workers on the nomination comments:
“She is an amazing teacher and friend! She goes above and beyond for her students. She has taught all 3 of my kids and it was the best experience for all of us."
I learned so much from her. She goes above and beyond for all of her students.
"Kim Yelich is an outstanding teacher and will go above and beyond for her students and the staff she works with."
"Kim is a creative, devoted teacher who not only implements "age-appropriate" activities for her students to learn all that they are required to know, but she teaches from her heart. She provides a nurturing environment where the childrenfeel safe and happy. Her door is always open to parents and she will always go the extra mile. I have had the pleasure of working with her for many, many, years and am confident is saying that she is remarkable. This nomination is well deserved."
"Having taught kindergarten myself for 15 years at a different school, I was thrilled that all three of my grandchildren could have Kim Yelich as their
teacher. She goes above and beyond and builds a great foundation for learning that all children need when they begin school! She is an awesome teacher, who loves her job!"
"Kim Yelich - best teacher ever!”
The criteria for the award are: nominees must be a current K-12 teacher in Indiana; inspire creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom; demonstrate exemplary teaching methods; and have a significant impact on their students, parents and/or colleagues.
“We were only given 300 characters to try to explain why our nominee was deserving of the award,”
Burton said. “300 characters are not enough to begin to even touch the surface of why Miss Yelich deserves this reward.”