Rotary presents teacher awards

SIDNEY — The Service Above Self Award and the Inaugural Excellence in Education Award winners were presented at the May 14 weekly luncheon of the Rotary Club of Sidney at the Sidney American Legion.

Connie Dixon was announced as the 2018 Service Above Self Award-winner and Ernestine Daugherty, Alanna Lotz and Sara Olding were presented their awards for being the initial year winners of the Excellence in Education awards. The Rotary Club hosted the award winners, family members and their nominators for lunch. The nominator of each award winner was introduced to speak about his nominee and then each of the award winners spoke to the Rotary members.

Sheila Lundy nominated Connie Dixon for Service Above Self Award and commented on Dixon’s 38 years in education as a teacher, especially those years of working with special needs students. In retirement, Dixon has been a volunteer for Samaritan Works, serving as a Bible study leader and assisting female residents of the Amelia House. Lundy then spoke about Dixon’s being a master gardener and using her expertise to help start the Community Garden at Agape. The garden started with 10 raised beds in 2014 and with Dixon’s tireless efforts, the garden will be 55 raised beds this year.

“The joy of life exudes from her, and putting her faith into action while volunteering is an inspiration to all who know and work with her,” Lundy said.

Dan Holland, superintendent of Fort Loramie Schools, nominated Daugherty for the Excellence in Education Award. Holland stated that Daugherty has been teaching for 51 years, 50 of those years at Fort Loramie Elementary, and she continues to refine and hone her skills with energy and passion.

“She truly loves teaching,” he said. Her biggest strength is her communication and her ability to push students well beyond their abilities. She creates a passion in her first grade students to read. Daugherty commented after receiving her award how blessed she has been to receive all the support from the Fort Loramie community.

Susan Elmore, retired teacher and an aide in the Jackson Center School District, nominated Lotz for an Excellence in Education Award. Lotz teaches fourth- and fifth-grade math in the Jackson Center schools and Elmore stated she is a mentor to Lotz, and Lotz is a mentor to her.

“Alanna is passionate about education and transfers confidence to her students,” Elmore said. Students use music, movement and art to reinforce math concepts and even roll giant dice to aid in problem solving. Lotz embraces technology and provides assistance to colleagues in their quest to understand and incorporate technology into their lessons.

“Alanna possesses the skills, aptitude and passion to transform an ordinary math classroom into a dynamic environment were math is fun,” Elmore said.

Sara Olding, of Sidney High School, was nominated by Marissa Clark, a former student. Clark stated she nominated Olding for the Excellence in Education Award because of the passion for what she does and she always has a smile on her face. Olding works in innovative and creative ways to support high quality teaching and learning by finding the best way for each student to be successful and to perform to the best of his abilities.

“Sara has not only touched the lives of her students but also the lives of students who were not in her classes due to her outgoing style and positive vibes in and out of the school,” Clark said.