Kelli Wolfel named district’s ‘Teacher of the Year’
POTTSTOWN » “Enthusiasm and pride” are the words Barth Elementary School teacher Kelli Wolfel’s peers use to describe her work ethic, and they are just a few of the many things which helped her on the way to being named Pottstown School District’s Teacher of the Year.
Wolfel was one of seven teachers, each elected by teachers in their own school, who were recognized as part of the annual Teacher of the Year ceremony held by the Pottstown School Board.
“In the classroom, she works tirelessly to identify and meet the needs of each child under her care,” according to the narrative written about Wolfel for the ceremony.
“As a proud Pottstown parent, her own children, both inside and outside of school, are a reflection of her core values,” according to the narrative, read aloud by Human Resources Director Deena Cellini.
“In addition to volunteering to serve on nearly every district-wide committee during her tenure at Pottstown, she is currently involved in Family Literacy Nights, the STEAM committee, Wellness/SEL programming, and the math curriculum adoption.”
“Arriving early and leaving late gives this teacher an opportunity to ensure that each of her students’ needs are met and it also gives the rest of the staff ample time to reach out to her for collaborative efforts,” is what was written about Susan Hallman.
“Her professionalism and positive energy go a great distance in making her colleagues see her as a perpetual “go to” person in the building, whether it is for brainstorming new strategies to use with students or best practices and data mining,” it was said of Hallman.
Jill Bolonski “does not work in isolation. She recognizes the value in the idiom of ‘it takes a village.’ Whether it is the principal, intervention team, speech, occupational, or physical therapists, or the rest of the faculty and staff, this teacher recognizes the importance of each area in taking an initiative off the page and making it a living, breathing, dynamic program to benefit students’ academic and personal growth,” read the description of Lincoln’s nominee.
“She is regularly improving instruction and intervention by using data to establish high but obtainable goals for her students,” Cellini read, adding, “. The positive rapport she creates with students and parents alike is a constant in her career.”
“Any good teacher will tell you that routines are crucial to a successful classroom. The routines and environment created in this teacher’s classroom are critical to having early elementary students grow and feel successful and cared for as they continue to challenge themselves to meet the expectations she establishes for each student, individual to their needs,” Cellini read about Rupert nominee Britney Oxenford.
“Her knowledge of strategies to help meet students’ needs is a resource utilized by many staff members who seek her expertise when they are seeking the right strategy for a particular student or just a better, more engaging way of doing things in their own classroom,” she said.
Middle School Grades 5/6
“Returning from a maternity leave to a team with two new members was not enough to shake this teacher from doing what she does best. With students and colleagues, she sets high expectations and commands respect,” is what Cellini had to say about Dana DiDonato.
“Regardless of the venue, 6th grade team meeting, math department meeting, or Sunshine committee; this teacher identifies the needs, the most efficient way to accomplish those tasks, and goes about doing it with a smile on her face.”
Middle School Grades 7/8
“For this teacher, excellence comes as a quiet force; a force that sees what needs doing and does it…without complaint or want of recognition,” Cellini said about Jason Bergey.
“New special education
teachers utilize this teacher as a resource for academic as well as behavioral advice. His presence in a cotaught classroom ensures that not only special education students will gain extra support but that also regular education students who need extra support will have access to his instruction and attention. “
“This teacher has worked at all three levels throughout the district, starting as a third grade teacher, earning multiple teaching certificates, and moving into family and consumer sciences and most recently to the library,” Cellini read about high school nominee and 26-year veteran Kristen Ellis.
“With experience at all three academic levels, she is comfortable serving on committees that service our K-12 population including our Wellness program, participating in Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds; as a Family Literacy Night teacher, a Reading Olympics advisor, and even serves her fellow teachers as Treasurer for the Federation of Pottstown Teachers.”
The 2018 Pottstown Teachers of the Year are, from left, Britney Oxenford from Rupert, Dana DiDonato from 5-6 middle school, Jason Bergey from 7-8 middle school; Jill Bolonski from Lincoln, (School Board President Amy Francis), Kelli Wolfel from Barth, (Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez), Kristen Ellis from the high school, Susan Hallman from Franklin and, of course, Trojan Man.