Born into a family full of educators, LHS Intervention Specialist Aimee Guzowski knew deep down she was meant to be a teacher. It just took her a while to realize it after having worked in the business world for years. But once she embraced her destiny, she was all in. For her it was simple, “I wanted to make a difference.”
In addition to working tirelessly to help her students succeed in the classroom, Aimee works equally as hard to make Lakewood High a fun and engaging place for students and a place where students can develop into leaders. As Student Council adviser, she helps plan all the student dances, pep rallies and parades. She instituted the “Brave the Shave” St. Baldrick’s fundraiser event with her nominator, LHS teacher Gray Cooper. And she and Gray served as a mentors for a group of students who were part of the First Ring Student Leadership Academy last school year. She redesigned the Fresh Start orientation program along with House Principal Tony Chiaravalle to make it more meaningful and engaging. If it all sounds exhausting, Aimee admits it is but says “the intrinsic reward of being a teacher overrides everything.”
She manages it all by putting her love of planning and organizing to constant use and being super disciplined about how she spends each day. She loves the challenge of it all.
“Aimee constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Gray says. “She approaches everything she does with a contagious, positive energy. If LHS is succeeding as a school, we owe a lot of that success to Aimee.”
Garfield Middle School Principal Robin Beavers calls EL teacher Patty Mews’s classroom “the heart of Garfield.” That’s because it is there, in Room 209, where the welcoming and inclusive spirit of the school begins for students who have recently arrived from another country.
During the course of the day, Patty teaches 30 students in grades 6-8 how to communicate in English. Not a small feat considering the multiple languages and levels of English understanding that the students come to her knowing. “You really have to be a master juggler,” says Patty, who joined the District in 2000 as Title 1 tutor at various schools. She earned her TESOL certification in 2001, taught at Franklin and Roosevelt then moved to Garfield in 2007.
Patty is impressed every day with the progress her students make despite some very challenging circumstances they may have faced before coming to Garfield. “The growth you see on a daily basis is just amazing,” she says. She also enjoys learning about the countries they come from and building personal relationships with each of them.
Patty is also praised as an exemplary mentor as well by her nominator and classroom tutor, Stuart Bouscher. “Patty is a great help to me as she always makes sure that I have what I need to succeed,” says Stuart. Surely her students would say the same.