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2021 Educator of the Year

Winemiller captures Pitsco-sponsored Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce award

Published May 21, 2021
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PITTSBURG, KS (May 21, 2021) – Pitsco Education honored three local educators at this year's Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce banquet. Patrick Moss, Pittsburg High School; Robyn Neil, St. Mary's Colgan; and Kelli Winemiller, Lakeside Elementary School, were selected as finalists from a large pool of nominations for the 2021 Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year. Winemiller was named the overall winner by a panel of judges.

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The Educator of the Year Award is sponsored by Pitsco Education as a means to recognize the best of Crawford County's dedicated teachers. Local educators are nominated by colleagues, parents, and community members for contributions to their classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. Each nominee submits an application, and finalists complete interviews. While Moss, Neil, and Winemiller have different day-to-day focuses within their classrooms, they all share a passion for helping students develop the skills necessary to succeed in the world as kind, contributing community members. Each shares an easy disposition and enduring commitment to helping students enjoy school and become their best selves.

Winemiller teaches second grade at Lakeside Elementary School. Her teaching philosophy and daily motivation draw from her personal education experiences, both the good and the challenging. She operates her classroom as a family setting, focusing on building relationships and an environment of unconditional love, commitment, flexibility, respect, support, cooperation, and fun. She believes her ultimate task as an educator is to help her students become kind, hardworking humans.

Moss teaches social sciences and psychology at Pittsburg High School. He has created an interactive museum of sorts in his classroom. Artifacts, antiques, and memorabilia line his walls as a way to make history tangible. His mission is to help students find their curiosity, and he makes sure they know someone cares about them. His guiding principle is that it doesn't matter what he teaches but how he teaches, and he is always on a quest for continued improvement for himself and his students. Ultimately, he believes student success means increasing confidence and realizing potential.

Neil teaches kindergarten at St. Mary's Elementary School. Her teaching philosophy is shaped by the amazing teachers she had. She strives to emulate them in the connections she develops with her students. Neil also aims to build relationships with the students and their families even before they enter her room and to maintain those relationships long after her students move on in their education. She believes it's important to be seen throughout the community and at the students' events. Within her classroom, using play, song, and other interactive activities, she provides experiences that create security and confidence in learning.

To see and hear more from the finalists, visit https://youtu.be/N7AqxI1S1OA.

Events and recognition such as Educator of the Year enable Pitsco to celebrate teachers' impact, and this year the company was able to celebrate three area teachers who have made an outstanding contribution to the field. Pitsco is also committed to celebrating and serving educators beyond its own backyard. After an extended period of uncertainty, one thing is certain: educators are awesome! And Pitsco, along with countless others, are so grateful. No matter how or where you teach, you make a difference.

 

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Pitsco Education is the leading provider of hands-on K-12 STEM solutions. STEM education prepares learners for the future through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts using relevant hands-on applications to connect school, community, and work. Our various products, activities, curriculum, and solutions promote positive learning experiences and continued classroom success.

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“If I could have a STEM lab for every classroom in our school, this probably would be the best school in the United States because I see how our students are engaged in our Pitsco lab.”

– Jeff Torrence, principal, Honeysuckle Middle School, Dothan, Alabama

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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