Harding Middle school teacher Nicole Boguszewski calls her colleague Emily Baker “the epitome of a middle school math teacher.” The description suits Emily well as she feels teaching middle schoolers is where she belongs.
“I love the kids’ quirkiness at this age, how they still want to have fun,” says Emily, who joined the district in 2015.
She is only seven years into her career (all with LCS), Emily is always looking for ways to improve her instruction and her connection with students.
This year, she has been trying out a teaching method similar to flipped classrooms that gives her more individual time with students and allows her to offer more differentiation for each student. She also is creating videos that help clarify difficult concepts to improve student understanding of those concepts
All Emily’s efforts do not go unnoticed by her colleagues. “She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure her students are learning to their greatest potential,” says Nicole.
Emily is still learning how best to engage with her middle schoolers, which can be a challenge as they are always keeping her on her toes. She perseveres knowing that building relationships with her students is the key to helping them succeed.
Harding Middle School’s Chelsie Ferrone was a stay-at-home mom with two young children when her mother-in-law, District teacher Julie Ferrone, suggested she apply for one of the open paraprofessional positions for this school year. With her youngest starting preschool this year, Chelsie thought “why not?” Now, she is so grateful that she did!
“I love being able to make a positive impact with the students,” Chelsie says. Her sixth-grade colleagues notice that students are drawn to Chelsie’s upbeat and respectful manner and that the students seek her out for help.
“Chelsie adapts to her ever-changing schedule to meet the needs of any student that needs assistance, whether in the science lab, social studies classroom, or hallway.
Students love Chelsie. She has quickly become an invaluable member of the sixth-grade team,” says Pam Thompson, one of Chelsie’s nominators.
Chelsie is grateful for the support she has received from the Harding staff. Their mentoring has sparked an interest in potentially pursuing a teaching degree. “I look forward to growing myself through the District,” she says.
For health teacher Terri Knapp, who had Chelsie as a student at Harding, working alongside her now is a beautiful, full circle moment. She has seen Chelsie grow into someone who embodies our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate ideals. Says Terri: “Chelsea models empathy, excellent communication, collaboration and a true growth mindset.”