The Oregon Small Schools Association is proud to announce that Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School teacher Cynthia Grelck is the organization’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.
Grelck is a 7th-8th grade language arts and math teacher at the 190-student school in the Neah-Kah-Nie School District (total enrollment 725 students). She is also currently the Neah-Kah-Nie Teachers Association President through the Oregon Education Association. She’d previously served as the organization’s vice president since 2009.
OSSA Executive Director Michael Lasher announced Grelck’s honor to members during the annual OSSA Breakfast at the Oregon School Boards Association Convention in Portland Nov. 10.
Grelck’s passion for teacher runs in the family. She says her greatest teacher role model also happens to be her own mother, who showed her what it meant to be a teacher who goes the extra mile, connected with her students, and made a difference in their lives.
“And it was from her that I learned that teaching is not just an 8-hour job, nine months of the year, but a profession that is so much more than that,” Grelck says.
In her 22 years of teaching, Grelck considers her abilities to make students want to learn and enjoy the learning they do, and to help each student achieve their own success as her greatest achievements and accomplishments as a teacher.
“I create connections with my students that go beyond the classroom, such as going to watch one of their sporting events, piano recitals, dance recitals, 4-H competitions, or whatever other activities they may be involved with that contribute to who they are, other than a student,” Grelck says. “I believe that when my students see me taking my own personal time to support them and their interests outside of the classroom, it lets them know that I truly do care about them, and builds an extremely valuable relationship that makes teaching and learning easier in the classroom.”
Grelck says there is no greater reward than when she receives high school and college graduation announcements, wedding invitations, birth announcements, Christmas cards, and even a hug when she sees former students.
As part of her duties as the OSSA Teacher of the Year, Grelck will contribute articles to the OSSA newsletter, Small Talk, which is published three times each year. She was surprised with the award at the OSSA Small Schools
Breakfast in Portland Nov. 10.