Second Grade Teacher
What second grade teacher Mrs. Alexander most enjoys about teaching is when students learn. She explains, “I love the look in their eyes and the excitement on their faces when they feel success. When students share or show that they have figured something out and have pride in their work, that is one of the best parts of teaching.”
Mrs. Alexander says she also loves the enthusiasm students bring to the classroom. She capitalizes on that enthusiasm by giving students the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways through different learning experiences. Classroom centers, class/small group projects, using iPads or other technology are just a few of the ways Mrs. Alexander makes learning hands-on and meaningful. While her favorite subjects to teach are reading and writing, Mrs. Alexander says she loves being able to teach all the subjects because of the opportunity to link them all together.
Beginning her 18th year of teaching in 2013-2014, Mrs. Alexander also marks her first as a St. Hilary School faculty member. No stranger to the school though, she and her husband have triplets in fourth grade and a kindergartener at St. Hilary. Community is what she feels sets the school apart from others. “I feel St. Hilary is a family,” she notes. “St. Hilary supports, encourages and celebrates together. It is a positive environment where students know people care about them personally as well as their education.” She continues, “If I had to say the three most important things to me, I would say my faith, my family and being a teacher. Working at St. Hilary provides me the opportunity to combine all three in one place. It is an amazing opportunity and I am truly blessed.”
Mrs. Alexander has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and grade levels, in traditional public schools as well as virtual online schools. She says these experiences have shown her the importance of planning for and meeting the individual needs of students, working with parents, and working collaboratively with her fellow teachers. She also wants to develop a love of learning in her students, and to plan lessons and activities that teach the basics and beyond. She wants to challenge students and make them always want to know more and find out “why.” “I want them to be excited about school,” she says.
With a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a master’s degree plus 32 graduate credit hours from the University of Akron, Mrs. Alexander plans to continue her education through graduate courses and workshops so she can remain an active learner. “Education is always changing,” she says, “and I feel it is important to learn new strategies and techniques to teach children.” Mrs. Alexander has certifications in teaching developmentally handicapped (K-12) and reading (K-12), as well as licensure in elementary (1-8) and intervention specialist mild/moderate (K-12).
Mrs. Alexander, her husband of 14 years, and their four children enjoy the children’s sporting events, playing games, going on hikes, riding bikes, and going on family adventures.
Second Grade Teacher
Seeing her students come to school every day excited about learning and with smiles on their faces is what St. Hilary School second grade teacher Miss Bennett enjoys most about teaching. She also enjoys watching them grow in their learning. “Seeing the students progress is very rewarding,” she says.
Especially fond of teaching reading, Miss Bennett plans fun activities to go along with what the class is reading to help her students learn to enjoy reading and become avid readers. She taps into her creativity to plan exciting lessons, and incorporates technology, as well.
An alumna of St. Hilary School herself, Miss Bennett believes the sense of community at the school is what differentiates it from others. “We have a very active community and a helpful community of parents, teachers, staff, and students working together for a better experience for all,” she notes. In addition, incorporating the Catholic faith into everything is important to Miss Bennett, who shares that coming together every week to celebrate Mass together is her favorite part of the week.
Miss Bennett holds a bachelor’s degree in education with a specialization in early childhood and early childhood intervention and a reading endorsement from Walsh University. New to teaching in the 2013-2014 school year, Miss Bennett student taught second grade at St. Hilary School in the 2012-2013 school year. The middle child among five siblings, Miss Bennett enjoys reading, cooking, working out, and traveling.
Second Grade Teacher
St. Hilary School second grade teacher Mrs. Kelly truly enjoys her students’ excitement about learning. “The children are really enjoyable,” she says. Mrs. Kelly has been a member of the St. Hilary faculty since 1996.
Mrs. Kelly appreciates the fact that her students are well behaved and have a great deal of support from home. She says this allows her to do more with her students than she could otherwise do, especially knowing that what is taught at school is reinforced at home. Mrs. Kelly feels the support of parents, both at school and at home, makes her job easier.
Particularly fond of teaching math and reading, Mrs. Kelly says it is gratifying to see students who have had difficulty with reading come to grasp the concept. “It is like a light bulb goes on,” she says. Mrs. Kelly also likes the fact that religion is incorporated into the school’s curriculum, which allows her to have honest faith-based discussions with her students.
A graduate of Mount Union College and the University of Akron, Mrs. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and Pre-K certification. Married with two children, she is a sports fan and especially enjoys supporting the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers.