2017 Teacher of the Year Winner: Ms. Melinda Burkhart!

by Jessica on May 30, 2017

Vroman’s is proud to announce the 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary School!

Join us TONIGHT as we celebrate Mrs. Melinda Burkhart, Lincoln Elementary and all educators at our Teacher of the Year Celebration.
In addition to the award presentation, we will be serving light refreshments, and giving out a special discount to those in attendance.

Hazel D. Sonanes nominated Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary

For Teacher of the Year, I would like to nominate Mrs. Melinda Burkhart, from Lincoln Elementary, located in La Crescenta. She currently teaches first grade. There is no one more caring, dedicated and loving than Mrs. Burkhart.

My name is Hazel Sonanes and I am the proud mother of Joshua Chavez, a wonderful 7 year old that has had many learning difficulties in school. He had to repeat kindergarten and his struggles were so great that he felt defeated and dreaded starting first grade until he walked into his classroom and saw that his teacher was the wonderful, amazing and oh so talented Mrs. Burkhart. Joshua knew Mrs. Burkhart from the Kindergarten playground being she was the other teacher he never had. He’d see her singing and playing learning games with her students and always longed to have her as a teacher, but since she only taught Kindergarten, we thought that ship had sailed. Having Mrs. Burkhart assigned as our first grade teacher truly has been the biggest blessing of our lives.

She knew of Joshua’s struggles from having observed him the previous two years with the other Kindergarten teachers and from the beginning set up a learning path for Joshua that has changed our lives. She developed a daily folder system that told us, the parents daily what it is they are learning, what we need to review, and what their behavior was like. She sends homework packets on Friday rather than Monday to allow struggling children, like Joshua, an extra two days. That has made all the difference, especially since he has a hard time memorizing new vocabulary words. And she took the time to meet with me monthly to help me, the parent, and give me the tools and training to help my son catch up and exceed in school.

As a teacher, she is the embodiment of what a teacher should be. She comes up with playful creative ways to get children interested and motivated to learn. For example, with Mathematics, she developed games like Domino Domination, to teach them to add and subtract without realizing they are learning as they play. In learning to read and write, she uses phonetics and comes with fun silly songs and rhymes to help them memorize and remember grammar rules and such. Joshua comes home signing new songs all the time about something new he learned and even suggest we do the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before breakfast.

Joshua changed from dreading school to waking up every weekend upset he doesn’t get to go to school. Mrs. Burkhart has not only helped him academically but in life itself. In his Kindergarten years, Joshua had been singled out as the odd, awkward kid that couldn’t read, couldn’t write and really didn’t play with anyone or have any friends. Her daily appraisal of his achievements and showing him that he too can succeed has changed not only how Joshua views himself but how his classmates view him. He now has friends and is not shy or second guesses himself. He used to say he was dumb and now he knows he is just as smart as any other first grade. Having Mrs. Burkhart as a teacher has opened the door for Joshua to have a successful life. For her love and dedication and great wisdom, Mrs. Burkhart deserves to be awarded Teacher of the Year.

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