The teacher of the year award is a way that teachers and staff acknowledge and pay tribute to both teachers and staff members for outstanding achievements, work ethic and the general love and enjoyment of their job.
Story by Zakiya Austin, Maddie Mason, Sarah Emily Rish
The teacher of the year award is a way that teachers and staff acknowledge and pay tribute to both teachers and staff members for outstanding achievements, work ethic and the general love and enjoyment of their job. For the year 2016, this honor was bestowed upon digital integration specialist Susan Aplin for Teacher of the Year and textbook and ID coordinator Jennifer Keschinger for Support employee of the year.
“I think Mrs. Aplin is well respected by her co-workers and any students that she works with because she’s just willing to give all of her time. She goes out of her way to make sure she helps people,” computer programming teacher Barry Lindler said.
Many agree with Lindler in that mutual respect is a quality that a candidate for teacher or support staff of the year must posses. This trait is also exhibited by Keschinger.
“She’s extremely friendly, very personable and she does everything she can for students as well as for the staff,” math teacher Enevelyn Hyatt said, “She never acts as if we are bothering her. She makes sure that she can help us in any way that she can. She goes beyond her job.”
The “above and beyond” attitude as well as a general air of positivity is what separates good teachers and staff from teachers and staff of the year.
“Mrs. Aplin has one of those personalities where she just never seems to get upset or become impatient. She will spend as much time as needed to help somebody understand things. She’s just so willing and open to help people,” Lindler said.
Both candidates were taken aback by the unexpected honor.
“I was surprised to be nominated. It is really sweet and I was so grateful for that. Everybody here works so hard, so I don’t feel that I have anything different than anybody else. I think because I come into contact with a lot of people that people know me maybe more than others that were nominated,” Keschinger said.
Keschinger felt as though her year and a half of diligent behind the scenes operation was not enough to warrant such an title as Support staff of the year. Her daughter, sophomore Victoria Keschinger, disagreed.
“My mom is very compassionate and caring and she really has a heart for what she does. She really loves working with other people and students,” Victoria said, “I’m really proud of my mom and I’m very happy that she won this award.”
Aplin’s daughter, sophomore Zola Jane Aplin, had something similar to say about her mother.
“She is really good with people and she’s nice and friendly. She is really great with technology, so she appeals to a wide range of people and students. She always offers to help out and is willing to work with anyone for however long they need her. I’m really happy for her.” Zola Jane said.
Regardless of whether students are aware of the fact or not, both Aplin and Keschinger have a notable impact every school day. It could be iPad help, a temporary when you forget your ID, or even something as small as a smile on the way to class that makes them stand out from all the other faces that pass by.
“She tries to interact and make sure that they’re doing well,” said Victoria, “I think since she is so helpful and interacts with students a lot, it helped her to earn friendships with students and become closer to them.”