The following story was shared by Rolling Hills Local Schools in selecting Kelly Zehnder as a 2016 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator. 

Kelly Zehnder’s impact on our school, our staff, and every individual student she teaches has been monumental. When she speaks, everybody listens. She is high-tech, but still has old school values that will not allow her to give up on a single student until they show mastery. Every lesson Kelly teaches is purposeful and carried out with high energy and enthusiasm. 

Kelly coached a state-ranked, regional-qualifying volleyball team this year and earned many coach of the year accolades, as a result. What we value is how her students have gone undefeated for years, as evidenced by her students earning the highest passing scores in the district during the first year of the online PARCC assessment. 

Mrs. Zehnder’s leadership skills have helped us develop an English Language Arts Department at Meadowbrook Middle School that we would put up against any in the state. Year in and year out, Kelly has been successful at adding value to every subgroup of her students. She and her peers have collaborated to see, understand, and put into place the leading edge teaching that allows our students at Meadowbrook Middle School to be successful and to keep pace with the ever-evolving changes we see in education. 

In addition to teaching and coaching, Kelly has led not only her students but her colleagues in school-wide professional development. She maintains an open practice that affords other teachers the opportunity to view and model her skills. We are proud and fortunate to have Mrs. Zehnder as a part of our team and fully believe that she meets all qualifications of a Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator in our district.