For the past 12 years each child that has had the privilege of walking through Mrs. Foster's classroom door has been touched in multiple ways. They are immediately surrounded with a safe, caring and nurturing environment. This environment lays the foundation for rock solid teaching and learning to occur. Mrs. Foster has complete ownership of all students in her classroom and ensures that their educational as well as physical needs are being met. Mrs. Foster works diligently in preparation for each educational day and for each student. She not only provides an outstanding differentiated classroom for students, but serves as a terrific role model and resource for her colleagues as well.
As an educator, Mrs. Foster has a passion for students’ welfare as well as their academic performance. She always puts the child first in all that she plans and does. Her mindset centers on safety first. She strives to make her classroom as safe and conducive to learning as possible. She will often fund safety items herself or arrange on her own to have equipment modified or built to ensure a child’s safety. If it is a need in the classroom, Mrs. Foster WILL find a way to make it happen!
Teachers that are also community members have a unique connection to their schools and students. Mrs. Foster is no exception to this situation! Her dedication to our community, school and future leaders is to be commended. Mrs. Foster’s communication skills with peers and students are outstanding. Behavior and academic expectations are always clearly conveyed to all students. As a senior staff member, Mrs. Foster will consistently support, coach, teach or just listen to a colleague. She establishes and sets yearly goals professionally and personally that become her driving force to success. Our district mission statement, “ensure that all students perform at continuously higher levels”, is truly taken to heart by Mrs. Foster. Her long hours of planning and consistent self monitoring of student performance exemplifies her dedication to her students, district as well as her community!
Mrs. Foster heads our Fall Carnival and Milk and Cookies with Santa committees. These are two huge community events that are held at our school each year. These events raised more than seven thousand dollars for our school. Hours of planning, organization and dedication are poured into these events by Mrs. Foster. The success and compliments received from the community at large speak for her flawless execution of each special event. These events are “owned” by Mrs. Foster! She readily begins planning for the following year even before the current year’s events are concluded. All questions, invoices, and planning are handled by Mrs. Foster. She is a true blessing to our building, community, and especially our students.
Mrs. Kelly Denu
Kelly Denu has been Goshen Middle School’s Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) site coordinator for the past 8 years and a teacher in the district for the last 12. As a leader in our school Kelly has truly helped provide valuable experiences for our students and has offered a tremendous amount of encouragement to our staff. Kelly also has completed the rigorous CEEMS program through U.C., which helps teachers build, and design STEM lessons in their classroom to help students become engaged in the engineering and design process.
Over this past year, Kelly has been invited to present her innovative teaching style and STEM lessons to teachers in Southwest Ohio at the MMGW best practices showcase, the state level at the Ohio Schools Improvement Institute and even nationally at the national at the 2016 ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) Workshop on K-12 Engineering Education in New Orleans. Mrs. Denu has been a shinning example to the region, state, and country what great quality of teachers Goshen has educating our youth.
I am nominating Mrs. Denu for the Chamber of Commerce Educator of the year not only because of her accomplishments and educational recognition, but also because of her leadership, positive approach to teaching, and consistent growth her students acquire from being in her classroom. As the leader of MMGW Kelly is managing five teams at the middle school level that develop a variety of different programs to meet the needs of Goshen Middle School. The five teams she manages work on, intervention, community, student growth, fundraising, and school transitions. These are fundamental programs of the school and help the Middle School be successful.
Beyond this leadership, Mrs. Denu possesses a positive approach to teaching and works hard at developing positive relationships with students. It is not uncommon for Kelly to let administration know that a specific student is going through some type of hardship and she is seeking out resources the school could provide him/her. This often leads Kelly to having some of the highest growth scores at Goshen Middle School. It is typical for Mrs. Denu’s students to show more than a years worth of growth on state testing.
Mrs. Denu will often show her personality and demonstrate her commitment to Goshen Schools by donating her time as a DJ for events at Goshen Middle School. For the last 5 years Kelly has been a staple of after school events helping students connect themselves to our school and community. Many students will attend such events just to see their teacher “bust a grove”.
Ms. Kristen Keish
Miss Keish is an incredible asset to Goshen High School over the last three years. Under her guidance, the AP Calculus program has increased in both number of students, and number of passing scores. In 2016, 9 of Miss Keish’s 11 AP Calculus students received college credit through the AP program. Miss Keish has earned both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in the fields of Mathematics and Education. In addition, Miss Keish participated in a Mathematics Doctoral program at the University of Louisville. Miss Keish has previously been an adjunct professor at Morehead State and Sinclair Colleges.
She currently teaches Dual Credit courses as an adjunct professor at Zane State College. Miss Keish is not afraid of hard work and always goes the extra mile for the students and the high school. She can frequently be found tutoring Calculus and Pre-Calculus students at Starbucks after school or on the weekends. She is always looking for ways to improve her teaching and to make the material more inviting to students.
Over the past two summers she has participated in the CEEMS program through the University of Cincinnati, earning an additional educational certificate in Engineering Education. Through this program she has developed numerous lesson plans and units that are shared with teachers throughout the state. Miss Keish has received numerous awards including the Bourbon County Kentucky Starfish Award for making a difference in student’s lives.
Students love and respect Miss Keish. They enjoy her class and understand that learning is important, and that they are important to Kristen. Goshen High School is so very fortunate to have Kristen as an educator. Her ability to teach the higher level concepts is phenomenal. Beyond this teaching ability is her love of students and people in general. Kristen is always positive and approaches all situations, good or bad, with a “can do” attitude. She never complains about problems, but looks for a solution. She never boasts when something goes well, but looks for ways to make it better.
Miss Keish has represented her districts and buildings in both Kentucky and Ohio. She has presented at numerous conferences including the University of Cincinnati STEM Conference and the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Math. She has acted as a college adjunct professor at Zane State, Sinclair College, and Morehead State University. Her affiliation with local colleges provides opportunities for Goshen students to take college level classes and earn college credit while in high school.
Kristen Keish goes above and beyond her job of teaching. Kristen deeply cares about each and every student and their future. Kristen’s positive attitude and love of life are infectious. It is impossible to be negative or unhappy when one is around Kristen. Students frequently seek Kristen out to ask advice or just talk. She encourages them to strive for their best and continue their education. Kristen can often be found at her doorway talking to students about different colleges and scholarships. Outside Kristen’s door is posted “Look Where We Are Going!” with a list of students and the colleges where they have been accepted. For many young people, Kristen will be “that” one adult that makes a difference in their lives and the paths that they choose.
Miss Keish donates a great deal of her time helping students after school or outside of school time. Many evenings or weekends she can be found at Starbucks or Panera with a study/tutoring group of students. She holds a well attended summer picnic for her AP Calculus students after the AP scores come out in July and works closely with these students on college admission and college life skills. She supports other teachers helping to promote the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Mrs. Keish works with other professionals as part of her CEEMS program developing Engineering/Math lessons and units, which she shares within the building and across Cincinnati through CEEMS.
Ms. Abbie Fischer
It is with great pride that I share with you my reasons for nominating Ms. Abbie Fischer for Goshen Chamber Educator of the year. Abbie is a dynamic leader of our 5th grade team. Her enthusiasm and passion for teaching shines in all that she does.
Abbie serves as one of the building’s grade level leaders. In this role, her responsibilities include working with building and district administration to work on the development, implementation, delivery and monitoring of success with curriculum. On any given day, you can find Ms. Fischer working with fellow colleagues to support student achievement.
She has high expectations for our students and believes each will respond to this. Ms. Fischer has uses the latest instructional strategies and technologies to reach each student. She teaches and encourages each student to be independent and engaged learners. Outside the school day, Ms. Fischer tutors students, provides home instruction and plans and leads the 5th grade staff.
Abbie believes in preparing our students for the demands of tomorrow. She works at many levels to support teamwork. Whether it’s the classroom she is responsible for or working at the district level, she understands and demonstrates this trait. For this, our students are simply better prepared.
Ms. Terri Banks
I am nominating Terri for this award because I have seen first hand the hard work she puts into making the district great. She safeguards the district from over expense, keeps the Director of Special Education Services going in the right direction all while presenting a smile on her face and making it all seen effortless.
Terri has been very instrumental for the past twenty two years, in keeping all the components of special education together. This is not an easy task. Rules are constantly changing, new laws are always being past and the red tape gets thicker and thicker every year. Terri is the one constant; she has been quietly working behind the scene through four Special Education Directors to keep our district compliant and safe.
The position has grown beyond simply filing and records checks. She frequently is called upon to take minutes of meetings and share them with the appropriate team members, create or refine the student lists and keep those records straight for state of federal reporting.
In recent years, Terri has also begun to recoup district money through the watchdog approach she has taken towards the courts. She makes sure when a student comes to us; we bill the correct district for that students educational cost. She took it upon herself to learn the ins and outs of a program that refunds money to the district for students with catastrophic needs.
Terri is always looking for ways to benefit the district. It is not uncommon for her to say let me try this or call this person in her pursuit to take care of the district.
There is a saying we have in Goshen Local School District, Once a Warrior Always a Warrior. Terri Banks is a wonderful example of everything that statement means. She has lived in Goshen all her life, she is a graduate of Goshen High School, the members of her family graduated from Goshen and she has come back to make a difference in her home school district. We are very fortunate to have Terri working for the students and community of Goshen.
Terri has taken leadership responsibilities in several areas, United Way, Public Relations, and most importantly in EMIS, the states student-reporting system. She is aware of the current expectations of this system and is always researching the ways she can improve what the current practice is.
Terri is a very part of our public relations program. She spends countless hours making sure that nothing is forgotten for our senior citizens dinner, business recognition night, veteran’s football game and Earth Day celebration. She has an eye for the fine details and is always able to see where the holes are in any plan and fill it quickly. These events are after hours, when she can she is a part of the evening often donating her time to ensure the district has successful events.
Terri also is our United Way coordinator for the district. She does her best to share with to whole district all the wonderful work the United Way makes possible. She has held this responsibility close to her heart from the beginning of her time with the Goshen Local School District.