Windy Hill Elementary Teacher of the Year: Kelly Durnbaugh
From Principal Kelly Cleland: “Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.” Mrs. Durnbaugh, kindergarten teacher at Windy Hill Elementary knows this, and makes sure her students leave her classroom knowing everything! They learn letters and numbers, how to be a problem solver, and how to be a friend. She teaches with patience, joy, and compassion. This year as a virtual kindergarten teacher, her enthusiasm for learning and young children was evident.
At the beginning of the school year, when the halls were quiet, and all students were home learning virtually, Mrs. Durnbaugh was in her classroom singing, dancing, and teaching with heart. Even without students, her classroom was full of learning stations and tools. The first day of the school year, Mrs. Durnbaugh had her classroom set up and ready! Each learning station had materials and a stuffed animal, waiting for students to arrive. Celebrations ensued when Mrs. Durnbaugh found out many of her students would begin in-person instruction.
Teaching young children takes a special and compassionate person. Mrs. Durnbaugh embraces different learning styles and capitalizes on each student’s uniqueness. Yes, Mrs. Durnbaugh teaches standards to students, but it is creativity, grit, ingenuity, and kindness that students who’ve had Mrs. Durnbaugh leave with. The Windy Hill Elementary community is thankful to have Mrs. Durnbaugh!
Windy Hill Elementary Educational Support Professional of the Year: Loren Edinger
From Principal Kelly Cleland: Mrs. Edinger works with students who have unique learning needs. In addition, Mrs. Edinger routinely mentors and cares for many other children at Windy Hill Elementary and in her community. She routinely looks for ways to brighten a child’s day with a special compliment or small moment to help them complete a task. Mrs. Edinger helps to make children know they are valued.
Her job requires flexibility and adaptability, always going where she is most needed. This school year, she has taught students virtually and worked in small groups, all while continuing to mentor students. Mrs. Edinger has the unique ability to anticipate gaps and is forward thinking. Her suggestions to the special education team and committees she works on are invaluable.
Mrs. Edinger plans and thinks with students and staff in mind. A hallmark of Mrs. Edinger’s care for staff is her baking and small gifts. She has an amazing ability for monitoring school climate. Just at the point when staff seem overwhelmed or exhausted, Mrs. Edinger treats Windy Hill Elementary staff to her amazing baked goodies. For Mrs. Edinger, working in education is not just a job—it’s being part of a community. She wears her heart on her sleeve. Mrs. Edinger cares deeply for her students and her colleagues and works to cultivate a positive culture for everyone.