There can be no doubt that the single most important factor in the quality of education children receive is the quality of their teachers. To that end, the state of Ohio has been working on several fronts to reward the best teachers and help others achieve their potential. This year, four area educators have been recognized by the state's Center for the Teaching Profession, winning grants to enhance the teaching and learning that goes on in their classrooms.
With her grant, Linda Dye, who teaches third grade at MacDonald Elementary School in Wellsville Local Schools, will be able to buy a TV, VCR and other gear for her program "Teaching Through Learning Channels."
Judy Migliore, a math teacher at Crestview Middle School, will use her award for a math program for the school's sixth graders. Each year the school holds a "Math Madness" contest -- akin to NCAA basketball's March Madness -- complete with electronic buzzers, posterboards, markers and prizes.
For fifth grade science teacher Brittaney Jones of Leavitt Elementary School in the LaBrae School District, grant funds will help build an outdoor environmental laboratory at the school.
Janet Vitko, a language arts intervention specialist at Neal Middle School in the Mathews Local School District, will use her grant to fund her literacy program, "Moving reluctant readers into lifelong readers."
Welcome rewards: With so many teachers spending their own money for classroom supplies and materials, the mini-grant program is welcome source of funds. This year the state awarded $160,000 in the competitive program.
The pupils of these teachers should consider themselves fortunate that these four women not only have new ideas, but they're willing to put in the effort to write the necessary grant proposals to help turn their ideas into reality.