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Nov. Educator Spotlight: Bonsky and Toler

Nov. Educator Spotlight: Bonsky and Toler

Congratulations to the winners of our Educator Spotlight honor for November: Lakewood High School intervention specialist Rachel Bonsky and Harding Middle School cafeteria staff member Jean Toler! Learn more about these two staff members by clicking on Read More.



As the teacher in Lakewood High’s behaviorally focused special education unit, intervention specialist Rachel Bonsky relies on our Vision of a Lakewood Educator skills in order to help her students succeed. 

For Rachel, it all starts with empathy and communication. Her high level of empathy draws her to students who may struggle. She knows that to help them succeed, she must develop a trust so that students feel comfortable sharing with her the issues that may be behind their struggles.

Once her students open up, Rachel is confident she can help improve the situation. “My favorite part of my job is trying to figure out why a student is reacting the way they are and then to figure out a solution to fix it.,” Rachel said.

Besides leading her classroom, Rachel also serves as facilitator for the high school’s Reset program, which is an alternative discipline program that focuses on mindfulness and movement. Through this work, coupled with her natural compassion and empathy, Rachel has nurtured many relationships across the LHS student body and has established herself as a safe connection for students.

Joy Morgan, LHS principal and one of Rachel’s nominators, praised Rachel’s superior communication skills: “She builds meaningful relationships with her students and demonstrates on a daily basis how important communication is. She also effectively communicates with her colleagues to ensure that her kids are served,” Joy said.

Rachel’s other nominator, school counselor Abbey Drost, points out Rachel’s great collaboration skills in working together to address a student’s needs and her overall concern for her students. “The care and consideration that Miss Bonsky shows for her students is truly unmatched,” said Abbey.




One of the challenges new Nutrition Services Supervisor Jacob Green has faced this year is the national worker shortage affecting the education field, including cafeteria workers. That’s why he was pleased to nominate Harding Nutrition Services staff member Jean Toler as one of our Educator Spotlight recipients for November.

“Jean has helped us tremendously by filling in at different buildings multiple times per week, every week,” Jacob said. “She always does so in a willing fashion and has a smile on her face when she is at work with a positive attitude!”

Jean’s direct supervisor, Marybeth O’Malley, echoes Jacob’s sentiment: “I can ask her to do anything and she does it without complaint,” said Marybeth, who also commented on Jean’s work ethic and dependability, both tough qualities to come by these days.

Jean’s willingness to collaborate and be flexible in order to serve the needs of our students when a gap arises is a great example of her embodying our Vision of a Lakewood Educator ideals.