Achievement in Education Award

For Fourth Grade Online Students, the 2020-2021 school year has been both difficult due to the constraints of global pandemic, yet amazing thanks in large measure to their teachers Gina Zanon, Marissa Siem, Alexis Teske, Olivia Kintgen, and Kelly McCarthy.  An online learning program was developed last summer to combat the global pandemic.  Parents and students chose this new educational delivery method and these teachers rose to the challenge.

Fourth Grade Blesch Student, Mark Ehle, wrote the initial letter to the Achievement in Education Nomination Committee.  In his letter, he wrote, “I am nominating the 4th grade online teachers at Blesch Intermediate School because they are doing a phenomenal job at teaching us during Covid. We have all learned to use technology better this year such as Zoom, Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Forms, Readworks, Epic, and MobyMax. My teachers have put in extra time learning to use these tools and they always respond to my questions quickly. I like that Mrs. Siem will add extra live classes when we have early release days so we can continue to learn together. She even added an extra class so we could make virtual Valentine’s for each other. I like that Ms. Zanon reads us new books we might not know about. I like that Ms. Teske uses fun ways to teach us math. One time we had to answer math problems to solve a mystery puzzle and we get to play the game Kahoot as a reward for working hard in class. I like meeting with Miss Kintgen during homeroom because we get to do fun things like go into breakout rooms with friends and learn about things like bullying and coping. Mrs. McCarthy is an excellent helper and attends almost every live class to help the teachers and students. She comes into breakout rooms to give kids extra help and was an excellent substitute teacher after Mrs. Teske had her baby. I think all of these teachers deserve an award this year because they have had to change their normal style of teaching and still make learning fun.”

Follow-up support was provided by Scott Martin, Blesch Principal, and some of Mark’s fourth grade classmates.

Martin writes, [These nominated teachers] “have embraced online teaching with an open mind and continually use traditional and non-traditional methods to engage all of their students academically. They continue to demonstrate a willingness to grow within the teaching profession and have been leading the way for our online program when it comes to learning new programs and/or websites. They are able to relate academic standards to everyday content in order to build off each of their students' prior knowledge. They have built strong relationships with all of their students, even in the challenging environment of an online classroom. Their time and dedication go above and beyond any type of contractual obligations because they care about what is best for their students. Their students are truly lucky to have them as teachers.  Each of these teachers is a true leader within our community and Menominee Area Public Schools is lucky to have each one of them on our team.”

Mark’s classmates offered the following remarks:

I think the Blesch Online teachers should be nominated because they have been trying lots of new stuff for us to make school more fun and productive. They are also really nice to us and will offer to help at office hours. In online school we can do many more things than in regular school because there are less restrictions. - Easton

This is why I like the teachers of our online school. They help us out when we need it. If we are having trouble on an assignment, they do their best to help us with it. They are really nice to us. They also let us do fun things on fun occasions. - Everly

The online teachers are the best I ever had! - Bella

Every teacher is awesome! No teacher is better than anyone. Thanks for helping us out. We will never be able to repay it to you. - Yenier

The online teachers are kind and fun. I wish I could stay online forever. I have been here since the first day of 4th grade. I wish I could have the teachers I have right now forever. They have helped so much and they have gotten me where I need to be so I can be a good kid and a good student. I wish this year never goes away. Thank you, teachers for everything! You guys are the best! - Jocelyn

Congratulations, Gina Zanon, Marissa Siem, Alexis Teske, Olivia Kintgen, and Kelly McCarthy on your outstanding achievement.  We are so proud of each of you and your fantastic fourth grade students!