TGS in the News

Meet The Gardner School’s 2017 Teachers of the Year

TGS in the News | January 19, 2018

While the dictionary defines a teacher as, “a person who teaches or instructs,” we all know that a teacher embodies so much more than such a simple description. Teachers encourage, guide, influence, inspire, and listen. The greatest teachers not only build confidence in the lives of their students, they plant seeds that ignite curiosity, invoke excellence, and illuminate imaginations. Above all, teachers shape futures and change lives.

The Gardner School is honored to have such dedicated, passionate, and talented educators who serve at our schools. We’re excited to announce our 2017 Teacher of the Year recipients at each of our school locations. These honorees are nominated and chosen by their teacher peers after previously being selected as Teacher of the Month earlier in the year.

Blue Ash: Sarah Papin

Roles at TGS: Fascination C Assistant Teacher, New Hire Trainer, and STEM Enrichment Teacher

Years at TGS: Since October 2011

Fun Facts: In addition to having a positive personality and contagious spirit, Sarah’s coworkers all agree that she is a hard worker who goes above and beyond for her students. One of her peers said, “She demonstrates what a great TGS teacher is supposed to be in every way.”

Brentwood: Rica Douglas

Roles at TGS: Enchantment A Lead Teacher and DLM Curriculum Coordinator

Years at TGS: Since November 2015

Fun Facts: Rica moved to the Nashville area from California, where she received her education in Intercultural and International Communication at Sacramento State. Rica also has a “wow-factor” classroom and creates an exciting and educational experience for her students each day.

Bucktown: Megan Olson

Role at TGS: Discovery B Teacher

Years at TGS: Since February 2015

Fun Facts: Megan has a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University, where she studied Psychology with a concentration in Human Development. Megan’s passion for teaching, her extraordinary curriculum implementation, and loving care for her students is a shining example to her colleagues.

Dublin: Gina Spinale

Roles at TGS: Fascination B Lead Teacher and Director of Training

Years at TGS: Since August 2015

Fun Facts: Gina graduated from the University of Cincinnati with her Bachelor’s degree. As Director of Training, she assists in training new staff members and is a valuable member of the TGS team. She can be seen daily helping other teachers and is always willing to go the extra mile for her students, co-workers, and TGS.

Franklin: Angela Alexander

Roles at TGS: Enchantment A Lead Teacher and DLM Curriculum Coordinator

Years at TGS: Since June 2015

Fun Facts: With a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Middle Tennessee State University, Angela’s creativity is evident as soon as you step into her classroom. Not only is she an excellent teacher, Angela goes above and beyond to support to her colleagues.

Glenview-Northbrook: Emily Veach

Role at TGS: Imagination A Lead Teacher

Years at TGS: Since December 2015

Fun Facts: A graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (Concentration in Family Services), Emily took classes in Child Development, Psychology, Child Practicum, and Addictions in the Family. Emily is always seen with a smile, a positive word, and a reassuring hug.

Herndon: Erika Martin

Role at TGS: Enchantment Teacher

Years at TGS: Since July 2016

Fun Facts: Always willing to extend a helping hand to any classroom when needed, Erika is deeply committed, hard-working, creative, and has a gift for helping students find their inner strengths and achieve their academic goals. A lifelong learner, Erika continues to further her education by taking online classes.

Louisville: Tammy McGuirk

Roles at TGS: Exploration B Lead Teacher and Creative Curriculum Coordinator

Years at TGS: Since September 2016

Fun Facts: Tammy goes above and beyond for her students, always donning a positive attitude and is willing to help her colleagues when needed. She has her B.S. in Elementary Education and her M.A. in Elementary Education.

Midtown: Melanie Even

Role at TGS: Enrichment Coordinator

Years at TGS: Since March 2009

Fun Facts: Originally from Iowa, Melanie has worked in childcare for over 10 years. During her time at TGS, she has been a teacher, trainer, and is currently our fantastic Enrichment Coordinator. Her creative genius knows no bounds, as she has written and created all the props for an entire TGS musical! She always does an amazing job producing our Spring Fling, Graduation, and Holiday programs.

Naperville: Kelly Nadro

Role at TGS: Enchantment Lead Teacher

Years at TGS: Since March 2016

Fun Facts: Kelly attended Illinois State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Family Consumer Science Human Development and Family Relations. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education. We are thrilled to have Ms. Kelly be a part of The Gardner School of Naperville. She excels at her role as a lead teacher and is always a team player.

Nashville: Christi Boyd

Roles at TGS: Enchantment A Lead Teacher and DLM Curriculum Coordinator

Years at TGS: Since November 2015

Fun Facts: Christi was chosen as TGS Nashville’s Teacher of the Year because of her enthusiasm, love, and passion for helping her students grow. Parents affirm that Christi is very supportive and goes above and beyond for her students. She is also our very knowledgeable DLM Curriculum Coordinator. Ms. Christi comes to work every single day with a smile on her face.

Oak Brook: Ashley Scheltens

Role at TGS: Kindergarten Teacher

Years at TGS: Since August 2014

Fun Facts: Ashley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Psychology and has been awarded Teacher of the Year for her exemplary dedication to the progress of the children in her classroom and throughout the whole school, her excellence in leadership, and passion for the field.

West Loop: Cornesha Flowers

Roles at TGS: Pre-K Lead Teacher

Years at TGS: Since October 2015

Fun Facts: Cornesha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. She is a valuable asset to TGS because she challenges her students academically, reflects on her practice often, and encourages children to be kind to themselves and each other. Cornesha’s motto is, “It’s OK to not know, but it’s not OK to not try.”

Congratulations, 2017 Teachers of the Year! May you continue expanding knowledge, fueling dreams, and stretching imaginations in the new year ahead. Learn more about The Gardner School’s teachers and teaching philosophy by visiting our website today!