By Dawn Hatfield
DARKE COUNTY — Wednesday, May 11 was a day of recognition for outstanding Darke County district teachers. The Teacher of the Year luncheon, sponsored by Darke County Educational Service Center (ESC), highlighted eight local teachers at Turtle Creek Golf Course, thanking them for their tireless dedication to the profession.
Michael Gray, Darke County ESC Superintendent welcomed the award recipients, and all attendees shared a wonderful buffet lunch served by the Thirsty Turtle.
Districts’ Teachers of the Year were then honored. Each administrator spoke about their selected teachers and praised them for the love and passion they share for their students and fellow employees.
-Jamie McClurg, Ansonia
-Cindy Dickman, Arcanum-Butler
-Ann Siefring, Bradford
-Kim House, Franklin Monroe
-Tammie Riffle, Greenville
-Christi Hummel, Mississinawa Valley
-Karen Bietry, Tri-Village
Anthony Coy-Gonzalez, 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year, was introduced as guest speaker. Coy-Gonzalez has been a teacher of the Deaf for seven years at the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio. After attending Flagler College and earning a Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Education and Elementary Education in 2013, Coy-Gonzalez moved back home to Ohio to give back to his community.
He served three years, teaching high school English, leadership development, and family and consumer science. For the past four years, he has taught upper elementary at the school. He is passionate about hands-on learning and making an impression on students with humor, emotion, a little magic, and opportunities to live through learning.
Coy-Gonzalez returned to Flagler College to pursue specialized learning and research for his student population and earned a Master of Arts in Deaf Education in 2018.
Coy-Gonzalez has served as union representative for the Ohio School for the Deaf for six years, five of which have been served as an executive board member for the State Council of Professional Educators. In addition, he supports the Parent Teacher Association and has been an officer of the organization since 2015.
He craves partnership with the community and an outward lens to his instruction. He works to connect students with community role-models and encourages his classes to be civically-minded young citizens. A theme in his approach to education is making learning fun, challenging, and an empowering experience for students. He values his partnership with families, with colleagues, and with the community who truly make the difference for his students.
To end the day, the C. Michael Crawford Mentor of the Year Award was presented to Kim Peltier, an MS teacher at Arcanum-Butler. Kim served as a mentor for the first time this year and shared that building relationships and taking risks are important factors in trying out things in your first year of teaching and she always tried to be a good sounding board and process lessons, questions, and issues with her resident educator.
Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.