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Lee named Norwalk teacher of year

Cary Ashby • May 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM

The Norwalk Teachers Association (NTA) named its teacher of the year and Friend of Education on Tuesday.

Nick Lee has been selected as the teacher of the year. He teaches social studies and Teen Leadership Corps at Norwalk High School.

Science teacher Nate Whaley, who made the surprise presentation to Lee, said “the success of TLC” and the basketball program can be attributed to Lee. Whaley also praised Lee for his dedication to helping students, making the annual dance marathon at NHS a success and “being a true leader in the school system.”

Also, the NTA chose retired teacher Deb Bower as its Friend of Education. Teachers nominate both the teacher of the year and Friend of Education.

“A Friend of Education is someone who is not currently employed by the schools, someone who gives of their time and service and makes things better in the classroom for students and teachers — and for Norwalk City Schools in general,” NTA President Sarah Furey said.

Maplehurst Elementary kindergarten teacher Jessica Enderle made the surprise presentation to Bower, who has been retired for five years. Enderle said she is very thankful for Bower who says that volunteering is her way to give back, but “she gives back over and over and over.”

“She has spent every Thursday for five years in my classroom helping me,” Enderle said. “She helps (students) hold their pencils correctly, use scissors correctly and paint … just whatever I ask of her. … We have so much fun together; we work so well together.”

Bower also volunteers at Pleasant Elementary.

“They love her as much as I do,” Enderle said. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.” 

In other personnel action, board members accepted the Aug. 19 resignation of Maplehurst Elementary special needs educational assistant Alison Doughty and then employed her as a Pleasant Elementary intervention specialist on a one-year contract. Her contract is effective Aug. 20.

Doughty received “rave reviews from everyone at Maplehurst,” Superintendent George Fisk told the board. He also said he is pleased to have Doughty in the district on a more permanent basis as a teacher.

And in other action Tuesday, the board:

• Approved the following donations: $10,000 from Angie Swanbeck for the 2019 Margaret Swanbeck Scholarship; $2,500 from Intelliworks HT LLC for the robotics club; $11,000 from Project Leadership of Huron County for classroom supplies in kindergarten through the sixth grade; and $100 from Union Home Mortgage for student lunch accounts.

Angie Swanbeck is the mother of Margaret, who died in November 2016 from complications due to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which causes internal and external burns to one’s body. District treasurer Joyce Dupont said “this would have been her year to graduate.”

• Commended more than 60 members of the 2019 graduating class at Norwalk High School who earned a 3.4 GPA or better throughout their high school career. In a separate yet related move, the board approved the list of graduating seniors, provided they meet all the state and local requirements. The last day for seniors will be May 24.

“That’s 34 percent of our graduating class,” Fisk said, referring to the GPAs. “I think that’s something to be proud of.”

• Approved four overnight sports camps: Boys’ basketball in Findlay (June 19 and 20), girls’ basketball in Akron (June 20 through 22), football in Eastern Kentucky (July 16 through 18) and volleyball for the Maumee Bay Spiketacular Tournament (July 19 and 20).

• Allowed band members to perform at the Aug. 18 all-classes reunion, a volunteer activity.

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