Walsh University Teacher of the Month: Jennifer Leone, Massillon
NAME – Jennifer Leone
SCHOOL – Whittier Elementary in Massillon
RESIDENCE – Bolivar.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER – Jackson High School
COLLEGE – Bachelor’s in elementary education from University of Akron.
FAMILY – I have one son, an airline pilot for Republic Airlines who currently is training to become a captain.
WHAT SUBJECTS DO YOU TEACH (and grade level)? – I teach second grade, all subjects. This is my 30th year of teaching.
NOMINATION – "Jennifer Leone is a very dedicated enthusiastic 2nd grade teacher at Whittier Elementary in Massillon. Ms. Leone loves her students and goes above and beyond to help them. During the pandemic she delivered school supplies and homework to families. She serves as a member of our Positive Behavior Intervention Supports team and contributes great ideas. Ms. Leone effectively communicates information from WAGS PTO’s meetings with Staff. We are very fortunate to have Ms. Leone as part of our Whittier learning community!"
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? – The best part of my job is seeing that a-ha moment – when a student finally gets something or comes up with a brilliant idea of their own. It is priceless. Sometimes it takes a long time to get there, but it's always worth the effort.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB? – The most challenging part of my job is dealing with this pandemic. I worry about the health and safety of my students and colleagues every single day.
WHAT SECRET TO SUCCESS WOULD YOU SHARE WITH STUDENTS? – I tell my students that hard work always pays off, ask for help when you need it, and the choices that you make now could affect your future.
YOUR STUDENTS WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT YOU … – … love to play pinball and that I am in a pinball league.
WHAT IS YOUR HIDDEN TALENT? – I am a great fisherwoman!
IF YOU WEREN’T A TEACHER, YOU’D BE … – ... a mixologist at a fancy resort.
AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RELAX? – The best way to relax for me would be on a beach with a good book or floating down a river in a kayak with some good tunes.
Alliance Elementary School
Julie Hale, third-grade English Language Arts — Julie is the living definition of what it means to be a positive team member. She is caring, kind and such a phenomenal educator and her students and team members love being around her, and who could blame them!
Alliance High School
Brianna Boehlke, Modern and American History II, Psychology and AP Psychology — Miss Boehlke is a passionate teacher who works hard to build relationships with her students. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help her students succeed and she has recently stepped up and has taken on the role of Academic Challenge adviser.
CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Central Catholic High School
Mary Ann Morrison, social studies — Mary Ann Morrison has taught at Central Catholic High School for decades. Some of the courses she teaches have become “must haves” for Crusaders, not because they’re required but because students look forward to taking them, as stories abound about her government classes, criminal justice class, relationships course, and her career exploration course! She is also responsible for countless generations of engaged Crusaders; her encouragement of them to be civically engaged, to vote, volunteer, and pay attention to word events is certainly one of the reasons Central Catholic graduates have a reputation for staying involved and committed to their local community well past graduation. Mrs. Morrison has been instrumental in creating the unique learning environment found at CCHS.
Gertie Inman, CORE Substitute — Mrs. Inman is extremely helpful in getting classrooms organized for teachers when they have substitutes and she can fill in wherever the school needs. She consistently offers support, mentorship, and guidance to other staff members.
Early College High School at Lehman
James Pukys, Math — James Pukys helps to support the rules of the building and monitors the hallway in his area. Mr. Pukys is heavily invested in finding ways to get students to connect in his class and plug into learning before, during and even after school.
Faircrest Memorial Middle School
Ali Fell, guidance counselor — Ali is a kind, compassionate, and trusted voice for all students. She excels at setting students up for success through scheduling, leading groups, advocating for students and empowering them with the skill set to navigate the challenges of middle school.
Canton South High School
Amy Hogue, choir director — Amy directs the symphonic, concert and Sound of South choirs at Canton South, the vocal parts in the high school musical and the middle school choirs. The SOS choir is very active in the community, a tribute to Amy's desire to give our students a stage for their talents. Leading the vocal music boosters, Amy coordinates the concession stand at basketball games and various other fundraisers that help provide the best experiences possible for her students.
Fairless Middle School
Alyssa Zwick, eighth-grade science – Alyssa is a very caring, hard-working educator who goes out of her way every day to make sure that the students know she cares about them. Every day, she does a wonderful job of making sure her students understand the selected science standard, but she also goes above and beyond to make sure that her students know she is always here for them. Her love for this profession shines through every single day.
Jennifer Cochran, intervention specialist – During her time at Fairless, Jen has shown a tremendous amount of dedication to doing what's best for her students and does anything possible to help them succeed. Jen has also shown that she not only cares about student success inside of the classroom but cares about their growth as people. She has also shown a strong commitment to being a positive contributor to her grade-level team and has overall been a wonderful addition to Fairless High School during her time here.
Amherst Elementary School
Allison Pyles, kindergarten – Mrs. Pyles is truly dedicated to her students at Amherst Elementary. She recognizes each individual child's strengths and works endlessly to help achieve his/her goals. She is a team player, has a positive attitude, and continually self-reflects allowing her to grow professionally.
LAKE CENTER CHRISTIAN
Stephanie Marroquin, third grade – Mrs. Marroquin is an amazing educator. She makes learning fun by seeing things through the eyes of her students. She brings out the best in her students, motivating them to be successful. Mrs. Marroquin loves teaching and her passion is evident in all that she does.
Emily Jacobs, high school mathematics – Miss Jacobs has a unique ability to develop meaningful relationships with her students in order to effectively pour into them through her student-centered, project-based math lessons. She has stepped in to assist many of our struggling students, and her established relationships with students make her an effective academic support for them. We are so blessed to have Ms. Jacobs on our full-time staff this year!
Joe Trego, health – It is safe to say that almost every student at Lake Middle High School will have the opportunity to experience a semester in Joe Trego’s classroom. Mr. Trego provides an educational experience that helps to reinforce good habits while guiding students’ lifestyles to include information and choices that will lead to better physical and emotional health. He is a teacher who understands the current trends and needs of his students, adapting and providing a curriculum that is engaging and relevant. Our students appreciate having yet another teacher who they can turn to for a straightforward discussion, sound advice and a helping hand, and Joe Trego is that teacher who fully accepts and embraces the opportunities he has to make a difference each period, each day.
Andrea Greco, fifth grade science and social studies – Our Repository Teacher of the Month is Andrea Greco. Mrs. Greco creates an environment where all students are loved and cared for. Her science activities are creative and engaging for all students. Mrs. Greco is a team player and is always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. We are truly blessed to have Andrea Greco on our LES team.
Jennifer Leone, second grade – Jennifer Leone is a very dedicated, enthusiastic second-grade teacher at Whittier Elementary in Massillon. Ms. Leone loves her students and goes above and beyond to help them. During the pandemic, she delivered school supplies and homework to families. She serves as a member of our Positive Behavior Intervention Supports team and contributes great ideas. Ms. Leone effectively communicates information from WAGS PTO’s meetings with staff. We are very fortunate to have Ms. Leone as part of our Whittier learning community!
Massillon Washington High School
Carla Mangle, intervention specialist – We are thankful for Mrs. Mangle's approach to her students. She is kind, caring and compassionate with her students, and is a “student-first” teacher who does everything in her power to help them achieve during the school day, but also guides them when necessary during turbulent out-of-school moments. Mrs. Mangle is a team player and is respected among her colleagues for her empathy and willingness to always do what is in the best interest of students and staff. Keep up the great work, Mrs. Mangle!
Sonya Ash, music – Mrs. Ash loves music, and her students benefit from a wide range of culture, rhythm, sound and history during their time in her classroom. She respects the interests and talents of her students and makes every effort to incorporate their unique contributions to her music classes.
Chris Marshall, U.S. History – Mr. Marshall teaches eighth-grade U.S. history at North Canton Middle School. Through his storytelling style of teaching, he is able to truly engage the students in discussions regarding the founding of our nation. Mr. Marshall is a leader on his team by working to target and build relationships with students.
Travis Stroh, algebra – Travis moved up to the high school this year from the middle school when an opening happened. He has not looked back. He made the move from seventh-grade science to teaching freshman math seamlessly, and our high school students are the benefactors. They LOVE Mr. Stroh!
East Canton High School
Jed Lee, intervention specialist – In his first year at East Canton High School, Mr. Lee has made a dynamic impact on our students. As a high school intervention specialist, Mr. Lee has developed positive relationships with teachers, students and parents to impact student achievement. Mr. Lee’s positive attitude and the effort he brings every day play a vital role in our students' success. At East Canton High School, we’re very thankful to have educators on our team that value “the process” as much as Mr. Jed Lee.
T.C. Knapp Elementary School
Daniel Risher, first grade – Anyone who knows Mr. Risher knows he is a true champion for kids. Building positive relationships with students, staff and parents is one of his priorities and he is amazing in the classroom too. He works tirelessly to plan engaging lessons to meet the needs of all students in his room. He is a valued leader, teacher and colleague at Knapp. It is an honor to work with him.
Frazer Elementary School
Maggie Hatcher, fourth-grade Language Arts – Frazer is pleased to recognize Mrs. Maggie Hatcher as Teacher of the Month because she not only provides amazing educational opportunities for students, but she also leads our team enthusiasm and educational leadership. She is a co-founder of Fierce Females and serves as a positive role model for all students!
Gabrielle Keyser, Advancement to Nursing – Gabrielle Keyser has taken our Advancement to Nursing Career Tech Program to new levels. The collaborative opportunities and experiences she provides her students in the real world setting is to be commended! We are excited to watch the partnership with Aultman College continue to grow with her leadership and passion.
Sandy Valley Middle School
Tojh Nicholson, seventh-grade math – Mr. Tojh Nicholson is dedicated to Sandy Valley as an alumnus, a teacher, and a coach! He is the SVMS lead math teacher and engages his classes through exciting activities and competitions. He coaches basketball and is instrumental in the youth basketball program. SV is lucky to have Tojh Nicholson!
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Jodene Stroia, English – Jodene Stroia teaches English at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School. She also takes on a number of additional responsibilities, such as serving as yearbook advisor, which means she knows most of the student body. Despite working with so many students, she knows each one and often knows much about each one, having gotten to know them. She also leads the STA student news broadcasts which means she helps students become strong and confident speakers, as well as teaching them presentation skills which will be invaluable for any future plans. Mrs. Stroia is making a positive impact on students today and tomorrow.
STARK COUNTY CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
St. Barbara Catholic Elementary School
Ashley Cross, kindergarten – Ashley Cross is a kindergarten teacher at St. Barbara Catholic Elementary School. Walking into her room is like walking into a wonderland of learning. Instead of just giving students sight words, she also creates hand motions and movements to help students remember the words. She also uses whole brain teaching practices, which are very interactive and fun for the students. Miss Cross has been a teacher at St. Barbara School for 12 years.
Tuslaw Middle School
Brittany Snee, grades 5-8 intervention specialist – Brittany has coordinated a Sunshine Committee to help support staff members during times of need as well as during times of celebration.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Walsh University Teacher of the Month: Jennifer Leone, Massillon