“Monica is a master at tailoring her lessons to the needs of her students, truly demonstrating what personalized learning looks like.”

Monica Lavelle, 2nd Grade Teacher, Pickerington Local School District

The following story was shared by Pickerington Local School District in selecting Monica Lavelle as a 2017 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator. 

There are so many reasons that Monica deserves to be recognized as Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator that I don't know quite where to begin. A student in Monica's 2nd grade classroom would be assured of an experience that met their personal needs as a learner. Monica is a master at tailoring her lessons to the needs of her students, truly demonstrating what personalized learning looks like. She is ever so aware of the developmental stages and needs of students and also incorporates those needs while designing her lessons. 

In our school district, we use both an ELA and Math framework developed by Great Minds. As others may complain that the framework inhibits their creativity, she sees using the framework as enhancing her creativity. She has spent many hours customizing both the ELA and Math frameworks to meet the needs of both her students and her teaching style. She is willing to coach others and share her work. When I need a grade-level representative to serve on a district-level committee, I can count on Monica to reach out and give of her time and expertise. 

Monica also displays her leadership in her grade-level teacher-based team meetings. She comes prepared to the meetings with data in hand, having already analyzed how her students performed. She always has ideas about how she might best work with students in every performance-level group. Her student growth data consistently demonstrates that her teaching is effective with all students and that her students consistently demonstrate more than a year of growth. Additionally, her kids and parents love her. 

There is never a wasted moment in Monica's classroom. Students are engaged and enjoying their work. During our Intervention and Enrichment time, Monica uses station rotations and flexible grouping to meet the needs of her students. Her enrichment groups are often engaged in their own research projects, as they dive deeper into the content. The classroom runs like clockwork. Monica has been an active member of the local teacher association. There she has served on many committees and has also been a member of the negotiations committee. She demonstrates knowledge of the process and complete professionalism. 

I truly cannot say enough about the talents of Monica Lavelle as an educator. The best compliment I can give her is to say that if I had a second-grade child I would want my child to experience her as a teacher.