Teacher from St. Ambrose on The Hill wins $500

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- I would like to nominate Mrs. Jennifer O’Toole for the “Tools for Teachers” award. Her dedication and commitment to educating our children is first and foremost. She has been teaching for 15 years and has undoubtedly mastered a system that works to meet both hers’ and her students’ needs. She provides a very organized curriculum that is both challenging and interesting for the students which helps them succeed while preparing them for the next grade.

Our family has been fortunate to reap the benefits of having Mrs. O’Toole for 3 consecutive years. Our eldest daughter had her in the 1st grade and again in the 2nd grade when Mrs. O’Toole “looped up” with the class (followed them the next year). Additionally, our youngest daughter currently has her as a 1st grade teacher this year. Both girls readily express their admiration for her. They feel secure under her guidance because she makes her expectations very clear thus lessening any anxiety that the students may have. For example, Mrs. O’Toole has a discipline system that rewards (or penalizes by removing recess, etc.) behavior. This system is established to assess the student(s) behavior on an individual, group, and class basis. This not only reinforces individual behavior but also guides appropriate class behavior by encouraging the students to be accountable for their actions.

Whether the students receive a “colored stamp” on their individual behavior chart, a prize from the treasure chest, or a class party they are positively rewarded which helps them understand the benefits of good behavior. Additionally, the items purchased become a voluntary personal expense for Mrs. O’Toole that does not go unrecognized. I honestly don’t think many parents are aware of the amount of additional money teachers spend annually on classroom supplies and activities.

As parents, we are grateful that Mrs. O’Toole always makes herself available. If questions or concerns arise it is reassuring knowing that she will respond in a timely manner.
There is not just one specific reason for this nomination but rather the consistent daily effort she continues to provide for the benefit of the students, which we are experiencing for the third year. We applaud Mrs. O’Toole and thank her for all that she does for our children.

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge all of the faculty and staff at St. Ambrose on the Hill. Wonderful things are happening at this school under the leadership of Ms. Barb Zipoli in conjunction with the many teachers and ancillary staff. We entrust our children with the teachers and staff in the school setting. It is comforting knowing that they are receiving quality education while having fun at the same time.

As the proverbial phrase states “it takes a village to raise a child” it is also true that it takes everyone at this school to contribute to the success of our children.

If you would like to nominate a local teacher, click here (http://kplr11.com/2014/01/27/nominate-a-tools-for-teachers-candidate/ )