The Bowling Green Kiwanis Club will celebrate its annual inspirational educator month in February.
Three inspirational educators have been selected by the teachers and staff from the Bowling Green School District.
Laura Johns is an eighth grade mathematics teacher at the Bowling Green Middle School. Her undergraduate degree is from Ohio University and she has taught for 19 years, the last 18 with Bowling Green. She is one of the teachers for the Team Endeavor. She was inspired to become a teacher because of the great teachers she had in high school, with the favorite being one of her math teachers. She originally wanted to teach at the high school level but the only available opening in Bowling Green was at middle school. As it turns out, she is glad that she is teaching at the middle school level as she finds the students to be fun as well as challenging. A big challenge is the balancing of the expectations of the curriculum with adjusting to the individual needs of the students academically and socially.
Melissa Hemminger is a life-long resident of Bowling Green and has a large extended family — three siblings and 16 first cousins. She graduated from BGHS in 2004 and has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She was drawn at an early age to the teaching profession. She enjoys building relationships with her students and helping them to find their strengths. She is in her 14th year teaching, one year with kindergarteners at Milton Elementary, three years with first graders at Kenwood School, and is in her 10th year with kindergarteners and first graders at Crim Elementary.
Nichole Simonis has been a fourth and fifth grade teacher for eight years at Conneaut Elementary and is currently teaching fourth grade. Her mother told her that as a child she was always playing school with her siblings as her students, and it appeared that she was born to the profession. Her undergraduate degree is from BGSU where she developed the career goal of teaching in the BG school system and has found it to be an absolute pleasure. She enjoys teaching fourth grade because students at that age still have fun learning and want to learn in preparation for middle school in the not-too-distant future. At the same time, she finds it challenging to work with students at this age who are struggling to learn, especially those more seriously impacted by the disruptions of COVID.