CONGRATULATIONS to Mrs. Belinda Strebel, 7th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at Richard Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake!
"The definition of "teacher" according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "a person or thing who teaches something;" However, I believe the definition of "teacher" and "teacher of the month" each consist of two entirely different beings altogether. For example, A teacher of the month is a person who hosts "Dance Party Fridays" every week in the classroom during lunch hour. A teacher of the month is a person who you have a heap of nicknames for, each born from millions of inside jokes and the quirkiest of minds. It is a person who teaches the curriculum in the most enticing way possible. A teacher of the month is someone whose life textbook is a story of made-up colors. My teacher of the month (and best teacher in my life) is my language arts and social studies teacher, Mrs. Strebel.
A little before mid last year, I decided to stay in for lunch in Mrs. Strebel's room with only the thought in my mind that she is and will be a great teacher. From those first few days to now, I've stayed in for lunch everyday, we have held an awards ceremony for my class, we have made matching T-shirts, I have stopped by after school everyday, and I came to school over the summer to help Mrs. Strebel by renaming being weird as "work".
Mrs. Strebel is and always will be an inspiration to me and I hope nothing more than to know her forever. I have already been awarded by simply being able to share her happiness, her stress, and her laughs, so I believe it is only appropriate that Mrs. Strebel finally gets her award also." -Elena S.
pic 1 - Letter writer, Elena Starcher, Teacher, Mrs. Belinda Strebel & Home State Banking Center Supervisor, Bobbie Novak
pic 2 - Mrs. Strebel with her "Group"
CONGRATULATIONS to Missy Matuga, "English As A Second Language" teacher at Parkland Middle School in McHenry for being selected as TEACHER OF THE YEAR and has been awarded an IPAD from Home State Bank & Star 105.5!
"Missy Matuga should be 105.5's Teacher of the Month because she goes above and beyond her teaching job title! Not only has Missy worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Parkland for six years, but she has truly helped to develop our quickly growing ESL program. Missy has her own classroom of mostly Spanish speaking students where she teaches them in a smaller group setting and frequently monitors their progress. Our ESL program goes far beyond her classroom. She oversees every student in our school who is in the process of exiting the ESL program or who has recently exited the program as well. This means she has to spend weeks planning tests and communicating with teachers, the students needing to be tested and their schedules. She also works daily in several other classrooms where ESL students are 'mainstreamed' so that she can co-teach and assist these students where needed. Missy truly cares about her student's education and home lives. I've heard Missy check in with students to assure that they have simple necessities such as breakfast or jackets. Missy also coaches the Dance Team, holds after school study/homework groups, and runs the Spirit Club where she organizes school wide events like 'Pack the Place' wrestling, volleyball, and basketball games. Occasionally these clubs overlap and she is needed in two or three places at once and somehow she does it, successfully! Missy's school spirit at Parkland can be seen not only in her own club with the students but also in her way to rally the faculty together to choreograph dance routines to perform at student ISAT test assemblies. On top of all of these commitments, Missy volunteers her time at EVERY Friday night dance as our very own in-house DJ! This saves money for our school and the students love sending her requests over email and learning new line dances that she helps lead during the dances! Overall, Missy is a wonderful teacher and role model to the students at Parkland and even the staff. I respect Missy, and I look up to her myself as a fellow teacher! The time and effort Missy puts in to our students is remarkable and something to be recognized!" -Kristen O.