Itemizer-Observer staff report
INDEPENDENCE — The Central Education Association named its elementary and secondary teachers of the year. Mandy Olsen and Adrienne Gault were honored at a ceremony on May 5 at the Independence Elks Lodge Post 1950.
Gault was named Secondary Teacher of the Year. She teaches English and language arts at Talmadge Middle School. She was chosen for her dedication to her students and ability to prepare new materials to make her classes fun and to connect with all her students.
She is a leader on the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support Team, advises the Culture Club, teaches the school’s leadership class, serves her fellow teachers as a CEA building representative, and chaperones school dances and volunteers her time for events like the TMS Program.
Teachers from all different departments appreciate her mentorship and willingness to share ideas. As one teacher put it, Gault “consistently shows mastery as a teacher” because she “puts children first and advocates for their needs.”
Olsen was named Elementary Teacher of the Year. She teaches fifth grade at Independence Elementary School. She was chosen because of her dedication to her students. She goes the extra mile to get her students clothes, warm winter coats, and even a red comforter for a student in need who particularly likes the color red.
Her colleagues respect her pedagogical practices and the classroom management that creates a safe environment for her students.
She serves her school on the Math Team, the ISTEM Team, the HOPE Committee, the PBIS Team, the social committee, the Chess Club, and more.
During a remodel, she and a co-teacher brought 58 students into a single classroom space and, as one colleague said, “learning continued to soar.” Olsen demonstrates that a teacher can teach the standards and go deeper to show students how to be productive members of the community.