BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick City School District was the only school system in a seven-county area to meet all 24 indicators on the state report card this year and receive grades of all A’s and B’s.
“None of that would be possible if it weren’t for the excellent teaching staff we have to work with our students and the community,” said Assistant Superintendent Tracy Wheeler.
Several weeks ago, Wheeler said the administration asked its teaching staff to vote for a staff member in their building who exemplifies good teaching. As a result, the teacher in each of the district’s 11 school buildings was named that school’s teacher of the year.
Each of those teachers was presented with an award for the honor during a high school football game earlier this school year.
Stephanie Sholtis, a fourth-grade math teacher at Hickory Ridge Elementary School, was one of those teachers.
Sholtis, who has been teaching in the district for seven years, earned her bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education from Mount Union University and her master’s degree in instructional technology from The University of Akron. She is currently working to obtain an additional degree in e-learning through Northcentral University.
From a very young age, Sholtis said she knew she was destined to become a teacher.
“I had a very elaborate school room in my basement growing up, and the whole neighborhood enjoyed visiting to play school,” she said.
Her inspiration, she said, was her mother, Judy Sholtis, who teaches second grade.
“I loved visiting her classroom on my days off from school when I was younger,” she said. “She was a great role model for me, and I am still inspired by her love and dedication to the teaching profession.”
With several years of teaching now under her belt, Sholtis not only knows that she made the right decision to pursue a teaching career, but she also believes that being an educator is the best job in the world.
“I appreciate teaching for so many reasons,” she said. “I love how each day presents new challenges and rewards. There is never a dull day spent teaching!”
Over the years, Sholtis said she has come a long way from the play schoolhouse in her basement to develop a true understanding of how much of a difference a teacher can make in a student’s life.
“I enjoy celebrating successes with students and am so proud when I witness their achievements,” she said. “The best part of my day is when students are excited to learn and express their enthusiasm to me.”
As an educator, she said, it’s the simple things that matter most.
“I love coming to work every day and seeing my students smile,” she said. “The way they just light up when they are learning is such an inspiration to me.”
For several reasons, Sholtis said that being named one of the district’s 11 teachers of the year for the 2013-2014 school year is a huge honor. Not only is she grateful for the support of her colleagues, but she said she is very appreciative of the opportunities she’s had while working at Hickory Ridge and for the Brunswick City Schools.
“I have received so many exciting and valuable opportunities over the years to grow as an educator,” she said. “I attribute my success to the strong leadership in Brunswick that has guided and molded me throughout the years.”
She thanks all of her current and former students for always working hard.
“They are truly what teaching is all about,” Sholtis said.