MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — The Central Education Association named its elementary and secondary teachers of the year.

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Kelly Cutsforth teaches language arts at Talmadge Middle School.

Cutsforth has been part of Central School District for 13 years. This is her 30th year teaching.

Nominations from her peers were submitted anonymously.

“Kelly has done some pretty terrific things at Talmadge during her career here that improve the overall culture of the school,” one colleague said. “Without her, we wouldn’t have WEB, EPIC, or a number of great programs. She’s a veteran teacher with a world of valuable experience that makes Talmadge a better place to be.”

A colleague, who previously was a student teacher in Cutsforth’s classroom said, “Students have benefited from her leadership and shown gains in reading across the board due to her patience and persistence.”

Another former student teacher said that Cutsforth, “pushed me to consider both my students needs as learners as well as their social and emotional well-being, and to always strive to be a lifelong learner that studies outcomes in an effort to improve.”

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Jessie Padilla teaches first grade at Ash Creek Elementary School.

Padilla is in her fifth year at CSD and her sixth year of teaching.

Her colleagues noted her dedication to her students.

One colleague said she “goes above and beyond to meet all her students’ needs,” and the relationships she develops with her students “fosters an enriching learning environment.”

Another said, “She is hard-working and is always doing what is best for her students when it comes to meeting the standards and in their day-to-day lives. Jessie is dedicated to making an impact in each and every one of her students.”

Padilla also is a leader, her colleagues said.

“When it comes to planning, she is always motivating our team to come up with creative and fun lessons for our students. Jessie is someone I have learned so much from these past couple of years, and it has been an honor to work with her.”

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