Kelly Nichols, who teaches language arts teacher at Marsteller Middle School in Bristow, emerged as the 1st place winner of Bristow Beat's Teacher of the Year Contest sponsored by Bill DePugh of Century 21 New Millenium.
Nichols challenges her students to get out of their comfort zones. She participates in school functions, donates her time, and makes sure Masteller students have everything they need to succeed.
“Kelly Nichols is the best teacher,” wrote a student who nominated her. “She is so funny and loves her students and makes learning fun for us, and she’s really sweet and understanding of others and offers to buy things for her students in need.”
Nichols said she treats her students as individuals, and her classroom is a place where everyone feels seen. She provides opportunities for students to bring their talents to the table to offer, “positive contributions” to the group.
Nichols teaches language arts at a school with a specialty in science and mathematics. While her students are often high achieving, many are uncertain about their language arts skills. She pushes them to participate, which they don’t always appreciate, but she said she is not there to be liked.
By the end of the year, she sees tremendous improvement in their writing and in their confidence. “They’ve come so incredibly far,” she said.
Nichols is inspired by her students' successes. “That’s what keeps me going every day.” By the end of the year, students often consider Nichols the best teacher they’ve ever had, as evidenced by the fact that she received more than 2,000 votes to become Teacher of the Year.
Students were excited about her nomination and encouraged their peers to vote online. Alexis Clark, Evelyn Harm and Maddy Zuniga even jumped on stage during lunch, telling the student body to vote for Ms. Nichols.
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