November Partners in Education Winners

It’s time for us to acknowledge teachers and students who are working hard throughout our state as we honor the Academic All Stars and Teachers of the Month for November. We recognize the winners for the Partners in Education program with gratitude for all their hard work, dedication, and the difference they are making as students and teachers in the classroom and beyond.

Mallory McCrodden is a ninth grader at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School and is described as a model student. She performs at the top of her class and is especially impressive. “She has demonstrated grit and a determination to be successful that is unlike many of her peers. She also has a very professional personality to go with all of this,” says teacher Sean Brennan. Mallory plays both soccer and lacrosse.

Jessica Smalheer teaches at Pleasant Valley Elementary. As an intervention specialist, she works diligently to create the best learning place for her students. “She values my input and treats me like an equal part of the team,” says a parent from the school. “Having a child with special needs requires a lot but people like Mrs. Smalheer make things a bit easier for parents like me.”

Phoenix White is a great seventh-grade student at Pathe Center. He works hard on his schoolwork, gets through life’s struggles and never gives up to “better his future.” He enjoys school and makes the extra effort to do his best.

Student Miracle Estes has a great attitude and is a responsible and helpful student. She is a seventh grader at Milton-Union Middle School. Along with being a great role model to classmates, Miracle puts forth the effort to get work completed on time and is a good representative for the school.

Mallory Zachrich teaches at Urbana High School. “She is different because she has a great teacher and student bond when it comes to everyday school life,” says parent Brandi Nichols. She works hard for her students and truly cares about their wellbeing. “Mrs. Zachrich is also relatable, and anyone can go to her for advice or someone just to talk to,” says Brandi. “She is willing to do anything and everything for her students.”

Ellison Krohn is a student at Loveland Elementary. He is a second-grade student who is not only a great athlete but a wonderful student and a “very nice young man.” He was chosen as an “Outstanding Camper” at football camp and is also an accomplished swimmer, diver and gymnast. He performs at college and high school halftime shows and is very active in school activities.

Natalie O’Connor is a veteran teacher who has taught for 20 years. She teaches sixth grade at Winton Woods South Campus and works hard in the classroom. “Natalie works very hard to make sure her students feel safe and learn as much as they can, especially in the recent uncertainty with COVID,” says Victoria Morris, a parent at the school.

Pickerington High School is happy to have Academic All Star Abby Stanley at their school. Teacher Leanne Ross says, “Abby is a role model student who has a love of learning and is always positive. Abby puts forth her best effort and works hard in every situation. Abby is a good friend and is helpful to other students. She has grit that enables her to keep going even when she has a difficult task.” She is respectful to all she encounters whether it is a teacher, peer, or teammate on the field. Abby has a 4.0 GPA and is a leader in the school orchestra.

Gina Komorowski is a gifted teacher at Tussing Elementary working with third and fourth graders. Leanne Ross, a peer teacher, says “Gina has an amazing affinity for working with students in underrepresented groups. She proactively seeks out students who show a high level of potential and advocates for them. As a math teacher, she is extremely caring and able to adapt to each individual student’s needs. She has a vast depth of knowledge about the social and emotional issues that students struggle with and works to help make students feel comfortable and safe in the school environment. She lets every student know that they are special and that she is looking out for them.” Her positive attitude and team player disposition make her stand out.

Blue Scott is making a difference at Athens Middle School teaching eighth grade math. Joel Porter says, “My son is excelling in Algebra much better than ever expected and I give a lot of credit to her. Ms. Scott really engages and connects with her students well. Her ability to explain algebraic concepts to the students has allowed them to fully understand the very challenging subject which will set these students up for success in their futures. In these challenging times, I believe Ms. Scott has gone above expectations and is very deserving of this award.”

Tyson Krul is described as an “exceptional student.” He is an eleventh grader at Ravenna High School. Tyson is a member of the football team and works at Wendy’s while managing his school assignments. “To me, Tyson is more than outstanding. He’s a great kid with a good head on his shoulders,” says parent Jessica Krul.

Crestwood High School band teacher Angela Adkins is highly thought of by her peers. She is committed to the band program and is described as “upbeat and positive.” She supports students when they march in parades and are in the half time shows, recruits and trains band parents, helps with the fundraising, and does anything else band related. Angela is in her 21st year of teaching and teaches band, jazz band, music theory, and history of rock.

Zaron Dickey is a fifth-grade student at Port Washington Elementary. Teacher Maria Demonte says, “Zaron has demonstrated excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, and involvement in the learning community. He challenges himself to reach high standards and expectations, and frequently demonstrates positive behaviors inside and outside the classroom. Our learning community is a better place because of Zaron, his positive outlook and willingness to work toward reaching optimal levels of academic achievement.”

Aaron Hreha is a seventh-grade science teacher at Indian Valley Middle School. “When his colleagues need assistance with technology or just working through solutions to common problems teachers face on a day-to-day basis, Mr. Hreha humbly steps up and serves,” says faculty member Jody Ditcher. He is respected and well-liked by his students and is described as teaching a favorite class by many of his students. One student says that he is her favorite teacher because he leads “creative and open-ended projects.”

Nicole Gravenhorst is making a difference as an educator at Sandusky Primary School. She teaches second grade and finds the time to create separate work for each student. She focuses on what they need to work on. A parent says, “In my opinion, she goes above and makes each child feel important, loved, and heard. Not to mention, she makes learning so much fun and finds creative ways to help the students remember things they need to know.”



Congratulations to all our November Partners in Education winners! You can nominate an outstanding student or teacher for Academic All Star and Teacher of the Month online by Clicking Here. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on the 10th of every month.
Posted: 12/8/2021 2:33:36 PM