School: Neillsville - 2 Teachers of Distinction Chosen (2022)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Gerhardt, Ruskin, Seebandt, Kosmosky, Kunze
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 2/02/2022
Neillsville School District-Two Teachers of Distinction Chosen (2022)
Two Teachers of Distinction Chosen at Neillsville School District
By Valorie Brecht
This year’s two Teachers of Distinction at the Neillsville School District show a passion for education seen by supervisors, co-workers and students.
Amy Gebhardt and Amy Kosmosky are this year’s chosen teachers.
Neillsville Agriculture teacher Amy Gerhardt was recently named a Teacher of Distinction by the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of its Crystal Apple Awards program. Submitted photo
“I was extremely surprised and honored [to be chosen],” wrote Gerhardt in an email. “We have a fabulous staff and awesome team. There are many deserving teachers at Neillsville School.”
Gerhardt and Kosmosky were selected through the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (MACCI) Crystal Apple Awards program. Then area school districts participate. Nominations are accepted from students, fellow teachers and parents. MACCI notifies the schools about which teachers have been nominated and then staff members in each school vote on who should be chosen as the Teacher of Distinction. Then MACCI tabulates the votes and presents the 25 winners with a gift and congratulations.
Neillsville High School Principal Craig Anderson Ruskin said he felt Gerhardt was deserving of the award because of her passion for education and learning.
“Amy is a very familiar face within our community. She has a true passion for everything and anything related to agriculture as well as leadership. She is an outstanding agriculture teacher, advisor for the FFA (our largest school student organization), involved in 4-H and even a local entrepreneur. Amy never stops doing and giving back to this community and as a result she is incredibly deserving of this honor as well as our thanks for all that she does,” he wrote.
“Amy has a lot of strengths, but I think one thing she really excels at is her ability to relate with students,” he added. “Students need to see enthusiasm and passion for what you do and Amy certainly does that. We may not have every student that goes through her classroom wanting to become involved in an agriculture-related field, but they will leave her program knowing that their teacher is skilled, knowledgeable and passionate about making a difference.”
Gerhardt’s interest in education goes back to her high school days.
“I decided to become a teacher my junior year of high school,” Gerhardt wrote. “I was in my agriculture class and my agriculture teacher, Mr. Herman Seebandt, was trying to teach. I was interrupting him with my constant talking. He finally stopped teaching and said to me, ‘You seem to like talking; you should become an ag teacher.’ I laughed, but that comment stuck with me. I decided to put my talking talent to good use and teach about my favorite subject – agriculture.”
She said her favorite part of teaching was working with students that want to learn new information and watching students share their newfound knowledge with others.
Second grade teacher Amy Kosmosky is shown here with Neillsville Elementary Principal Marcy Kunze after Kosmosky was named a Teacher of Distinction. Submitted photo
Kosmosky, the other Teacher of Distinction has taught second grade for 11 years at Neillsville Elementary School. She said she was “shocked” to find out she had been chosen as a Teacher of Distinction.
“I was up against some veteran teachers whom I most admire,” she wrote in an email.
“I am honored to receive this recognition. I dedicate a lot of time and passion to my classroom, students and school. It is nice to be recognized for that,” she added.
Elementary principal Marcy Kunze said that Kosmosky taught her students about the importance of learning and community service.
“Amy also is a teacher leader for her grade level. She takes initiative when developing lessons, analyzing data to determine appropriate instruction and mentoring her team. She cares for the students and the school community. Amy is truly an asset,” Kunze said.
In addition to her time in the classroom, Kosmosky serves as the chairperson for the elementary school’s (PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System) committee, which develops the school’s monthly character traits, behavior leaning targets and protocols, and reward activities.
“Amy likes to be involved in the happenings of the school. She is accepting of change and is willing to learn new things. In addition, Amy has an empathetic nature and goes above and beyond when teaching students,” Kunze said.
Kosmosky said it was not her intention to become a teacher after leaving high school, but came to realize during her freshman year how much she missed being around kids, as she had tutored first grade students all four years of high school.
“I decided to switch majors, and I am so glad I did,” Kosmosky wrote.
She finds enjoyment several aspects of teaching.
“I love making connections with my students – getting to know who they are and how they learn best, seeing their ‘light bulbs’ turn on and having fun while workin hard,” she said.
Kosmosky, Gerhardt and the rest of the Teachers of Distinction will be honored at a banquet at Hotel Marshfield May 4. They will also be considered for the top four Crystal Apple Awards.
The MACCI will announce the Crystal Apple Award Winners Merch 2.
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