District News


2016 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator Award Winner: Janelle Sowders

Posted on: June 16, 2016

Out of Ohio's 108,000 public-school teachers, just 44 won the coveted Battelle for Kids' Celebrate Teaching Award. One of them is (legendary) Whitaker Elementary sixth-grade teacher Janelle Sowders.


Every year, Janelle produces excellent student growth on state achievement tests. But besides making her students good readers, mathematicians and problem solvers, she inspires them to love reading, to apply their math and thinking skills to community service projects and to -- even in sixth grade -- keep their eyes on college and careers.

She's a starter, an instigator, a catalyst. She created a Word of the Week program to build vocabulary skills for college boards. She started a Honoring Our Veterans Celebration to provide Honor Flights for retired military members. She created Newcomer Welcome Boxes for students who came from abroad. And every Sunday night, she sends home detailed lesson plans to let her students know the excitement in store for the week ahead!

The Battelle Award is dedicated to "great teaching." So is Janelle Sowders' life.