2013-2014 PTSA Educators of the Year

Fort Island PTA and District Outstanding Educator of the Year

Kathy Casper

Kathy Casper, better known as Coach Casper to the students and families of Fort Island Primary School, is passionate about her position as the physical education teacher.  Coach Casper does not just show up to do her job each day and fulfill the requirements for the state in the area of physical education, rather she leads the students by example to make movement a priority in their lives.

Coach Casper’s mission is to inspire children to be confident and competent life-long movers, and she accomplishes this is fun and creative ways.  This past fall she taught and led the entire student body in a flash mob dance after the PTA Fall Hike Fundraiser.  Through participation in Jump Rope for Heart she encourages students to stay active and take care of their hearts.  Coach Casper gives freely of her time to work with the fourth grade Jump Rope team before school in preparation for their performances for the school and community.  She incorporates technology into her lessons and makes connections to academic content areas.  Coach Casper supports her students in their recreational sports by attending their games and matches.  Coach Casper is indeed students’ biggest fan when it comes to leading an active life.

Coach Capser doesn’t just share her expertise with students.  She has presented at conventions, workshops, and to PTA groups about the importance of physical activity and nutrition for our children. She is a member of several national and state professional organizations that relate to physical education, and she is the Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator for the CFCSD and is on the Copley Fairlawn OTES PILOT Leadership Committee.

Coach Casper is a supportive member of Fort Island’s PTA.  She offers incentives and rewards for PTA fundraising such as pie in the face, extra physical education classes and dance parties.  She attends and supports many after school PTA functions.  She lends a helping hand to clean up after PTA events held in the gym.

Coach Casper is well aware of the childhood inactivity epidemic that is prevalent in society.  She uses a creative approach to encourage each student to embrace a lifetime of physical fitness.  For these reasons she is most deserving of the 2013-2014 Fort Island Outstanding Educator Award.

Coach Casper (summarized):

Mission: Inspire children to be confident and competent life-long movers.

Creative teaching include:

  • Taught and led entire student body in a flash mob dance after the PTA Fall Hike
  • Leads the school in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart encouraging students to stay active, eat right, and care for their hearts.
  • Gives her own time to work with 4th grade Jump Rope team before school, as well as the running club in year’s past.
  • Incorporates technology and connects all of her lessons and activities to the academic content areas so students know understand why they are doing the activities.
  • Attends student games and matches outside of school.
  • She shares her knowledge with more than just her students while presenting at conventions, workshops, and PTA groups.  She is a member of several professional organizations relating to physical education and is the PE curriculum coordinator for our school system, as well as being on the OTES PILOT leadership Committee.
  • Coach Casper is a strong supporter of all of her students from elementary to HS, her colleagues, and PTA.
  • Thank you Coach Casper, you are most deserving of being named the Outstanding Educator of the Year for CFCSchools!

CHS 2013-14 Educator of the Year

Stephen Zimmerer

Stephen Zimmerer received both his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Arts Education from the University of Akron and has been an educator at CHS for 18 years, the bulk of his 22 year teaching career.  He is married to wife, Jennifer, and has four children ages 4 to 16.

Mr. Zimmerer teaches U.S. History classes at CHS, including Honors and AP level classes.  He is known for challenging every student that passes through his classroom with a rigorous curriculum.  Regarding his teaching philosophy, he writes,

“My philosophy of education is centered upon the belief that regardless of each individual’s level of ability and interest in the history of our nation, all are capable of developing a deeper appreciation for American history as well as critical thinking skills that will allow them to be more successful in their future.  I take great pride in demonstrating to my students that history is really about gaining an understanding of decisions that were made in the past for the purpose of making better decisions related to similar circumstances that may arise in the future.  While it is not my responsibility to lead them to any particular decision or position on an issue, I do have the responsibility of modeling an appropriate approach to accomplishing this task.  Ultimately, my objective as an educator is to help my students develop an appreciation for the history of our nation while also developing the analytical skill that will better prepare them for the rigors of academic work at the university level and in the work place.”

In addition to being a teacher, Mr. Zimmerer has been the Washington Close-Up program trip advisor for 13 years, providing many Copley students with the opportunity to learn more about our government and the issues that our nation faces through the many resources available in our nation’s Capital.  This commitment takes a lot of personal time away from his family and his summer vacation.  Over the years at CHS,

Mr. Zimmerer was also the head wrestling coach for 7 years, including a Top 15 team finish, and coaching the team to one of the school’s three state championships.  Mr. Zimmerer also served as the Student Council Advisor for 10 years.  During that time, he volunteered to take on the responsibilities of the Veteran’s Day Program at CHS, after the previous coordinator left the district, and it has since become a student council sponsored event.  Through his leadership, the event has grown from just providing breakfast for less than a dozen veterans to also including a program held in the auditorium that both recognizes and honor our community’s veterans and educates our student body on the value of service and sacrifice.  The number of veterans and community members attending the program now surpasses 50.

Mr. Zimmerer is truly an outstanding educator and CHS is fortunate to have him to help educate our students on the history of our Nation and to better prepare them for academic success beyond high school.   Congratulations, Mr. Zimmerer!

Arrowhead 2013-14 Educator of the Year

Angela Kavak

Arrowhead is proud to award Mrs. Angela Kavak with the Outstanding Educator Award.  During her 7 years in education, she has experience in Title One, Kindergarten and currently teaches Third Grade.   She is the literacy curriculum coordinator for Arrowhead and she is the organizer for PTA Sponsored Right to Read Week.

Mrs. Kavak obtained her Bachelor of Science Early Childhood Education and Masters of Curriculum and Instruction Reading from Cleveland State University.  While at the University, she also was awarded “Outstanding Student Teacher Award” in 2006.  She was also nominated for the 2013 Summit County Rookie of the Year Award.

At Arrowhead, Mrs. Kavak helped with the planning of the new language arts adoption.  In order to help transition the staff members to this new approach, she organized a lunch book study.  During this lunch study, a group of teachers would meet to discuss the content of chapters and collaborate ideas and successes they experienced in their classrooms.

Mrs. Kavak has always been a member of the PTA.  She strongly believes that parental involvement has a positive impact on student achievement.  She has shown her support by attending various PTA Sponsored Events and working with volunteers to enhance student learning.

Mrs. Kavak believes that early learning experiences play a vital role in the development of children.  What they learn in the early years of school can shape their views of themselves as well as their future successes in school.  Her goal is to provide a rich and caring classroom environment that allows students to have a great respect for all learners.  She feels as a teacher, she needs to provide them with opportunities to make good decisions and learn from their mistakes.

Nominators believe what makes Mrs. Kavak the most deserving of this award is her genuine love for her students.  Most parents are in ah with how her classes behave.   She is so quiet that it is amazing to see how well all of her students listen.  She is the most calm and gentle teacher Arrowhead has to offer.   Mrs. Kavak not only holds herself to such a high standard, but she also expects the same of her students.  She encourages them to go above and beyond.  Encouraging them to think outside the box.  Mrs. Kavak has a way of making every student feel special.

Arrowhead is thrilled to have such an Outstanding Educator in our building.

Copley-Fairlawn Middle School Educator of the Year

Kim Carothers

Copley Middle School is proud to introduce Kim Carothers as our Educator of the Year.

Kim is no stranger to Copley.  She and husband Brent have resided in Copley, raising heir two sons, Zachary 21 and Logan 13, and been continuous supporter of the PTA at Fort Island, the Middle School and also the High School.

Kim has enjoyed working for the Copley-Fairlawn City School district for the past ten years in various capacities and has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest teachers in the world.  She has worked as a substitute – both long and short term, as a tutor and now as a fulltime teacher, teaching Freshman English.

For the past three years it has been her joy to organize the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC and to travel with the students as they explore our nation’s capital.  In an effort to ensure that every student who wished to attend the trip had the opportunity, she has raised funds for “scholarships” by contacting individuals and local businesses.

To Kim, teaching is much more than a job.  It is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of her students and, through them, our community and nation.

It is also Kim’s sincere belief that EVERY child can learn and that it is her responsibility to bring out the best in each of her students and to help them see and achieve their full potential.  It is important to Kim that her students know that she is interested in them as individuals in and also outside of the classroom.

You know this is true when you see Kim attending many afterschool activities, such as countless sporting events, Speech Meets, Spelling Bees, Geography Bees, and Academic Challenge events…just to name a few.

Thank you Kim, for giving so much to your students, their families, our district and our community. Congratulations as our Middle School Educator of the Year.

Copley-Fairlawn District PTA Council

Herberich PTA Outstanding Educator Awardee

Mrs. Amy Belles

Mrs. Amy Belles has served as Herberich Primary school’s physical education teacher for the past several years.  Her impact has been felt mightily.  Our students are learning to live healthy lifestyles including nutrition, movement and mindfulness.  She is always planning and doing amazing activities with our students.  She thinks outside of the box.  This includes using technology in PE!  She truly believes in strengthening our students’ physical health and wellbeing so they can perform in the classroom.  Mrs. Belles is positive and enthusiastic with her colleagues and is excited to teach all students.  She is truly an Outstanding Educator!



This entry was posted in About Our Teachers, News from and about CTA. Bookmark the permalink.