SIDNEY – Sidney Rotary, in partnership with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, has announced the recipients of 2021-2022 Excellence in Education, an award designed to recognize Shelby County’s most dedicated educators.
This year’s honorees are Mike Keiser, German teacher at Sidney High School; Kevin Turner, science teacher at Sidney Middle School; and Vickie Quinter, science teacher at Anna High School.
The Excellence in Education program welcomes nominations from teachers, administrators, parents of students and the Shelby County community-at-large. This year, 18 nominations were reviewed. From those nominations, the nine-person panel representing Sidney Rotary and the MRESC selected six finalists. Those finalists were then interviewed by the panel, which narrowed selections down to three award recipients.
Over the past five years of honoring the Excellence in Education award winners, a commonality among the recipients is that of doing whatever is necessary for the betterment of their students and their school, especially working in their off time to hone their craft, inspire their students, and adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of public education.
Keiser was nominated by fellow Sidney educators, Tom Clark and Jamie Whitman, and a parent of a student for his three R’s — Rigor, Relationships, and Relevance. These are key concepts he seeks to embed in his world language classes at Sidney High School. For over 20 years, Keiser has strived to make a positive impact on thousands of students by cultivating the district’s German studies program, foreign exchange and immersion initiatives, cultural dinners, and mentoring opportunities.
“I am a student-first teacher. That means my first priority is my students and their success in life. I try to make it clear through my words and actions that I value every student!” said Keiser.
One of Keiser’s nominators, a parent, noted Keiser’s ability to lead by example. “Students in Herr Keiser’s class may be learning a foreign language but they are also gaining confidence and deepening their understanding of what it means to be a contributing member of society.”
Turner was nominated by fellow educators, Bill Rippey and G.C. Kimmel because his not only a great teacher and role model for his students but a strong advocate for the school district and community. He has served on SMS’ building leadership team and PBIS Committee, and serves as the middle school assistant football coach.
“Science is my passion. I strive to develop lessons that I would enjoy if I were a student. Relating science to the real world, experimenting, and collecting data are keys to student success in my classroom,” said Turner.
Quinter was nominated by Michelle Holsinger for her dedication to developing young minds and a passion for learning. She is tasked with teaching some of Anna’s most challenging science classes and does so by pushing students to step outside of their comfort zone. Quinter is actively involved in numerous extracurricular activities including Believe in Ohio, Science Olympiad, SADD, and is the co-founder of the Eco-Warriors group, which she credits as helping Anna save thousands of dollars through dedicated recycling activities.
Holsinger remarks about Quinter, “I am astounded by her passion, dedication, ability, and leadership each and every day. I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”
Each of these recipients doesn’t just teach students, they make connections with kids and the school community around them to provide the foundation for life-long lessons and skills. They build relationships in their classrooms that transcend the school year and change the trajectory of lives.