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PMS teacher joins ranks of Master Teachers

May 8, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Poland Middle School teacher Eva Sullivan has become part of the elite group of Master Teachers this year. She completed the requirements that elevate her to the level of being among the top educators across the nation.

''We now have five Master Teachers at Poland Middle School,'' said Principal Mark Covell. ''In this certification, they all five demonstrate competency beyond the normal standards. These five, that now includes Eva, are our academic leaders in this building.''

Sullivan is a 1971 South High graduate who went on to YSU for her teaching degree. She continued at Westminster for her masters and attended Kent State as part of a national writing project. She started with Poland in 1992 as a learning disabilities tutor, then, over the following years taught grades one through seven while moving around the district to different buildings. She presently teaches seventh grade math at PMS.

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Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Poland Middle School math teacher Eva Sullivan has joined the ranks of Master Teachers this school year after meeting the requirements for the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.

To obtain the Master Teacher designation, Sullivan had to complete a notebook involving five specific areas. It has to show consistent leadership, focused collaboration, distinguished teaching with a focus on students and environment, focus on content, instruction and assessment, and continued professional growth.

''I had to write on each of those five [topics],'' Sullivan said. ''For me this was a renewal process.''

She previously had National Board certification, but let it expire. She chose to go with the state's Master Teacher program to obtain certification.

One of the programs that Sullivan started and wrote about for the Master Teacher notebook was her summer math enrichment.

''For the past two summers, I put on a free summer math enrichment class for incoming fifth and sixth graders, she said. ''I thought we would see around 20 students sign up, but we ended up with 66.''

The program was two times a month and had to be moved around the building to avoid the janitors who were deep cleaning each classroom. One thing that pleased Sullivan was the fact a lot of the summer math students joined the math club at PMS. During the school year, Sullivan has five different math contests designed to keep interest growing.

Another area Sullivan has made an impact is in using a program called Khan Academy. The on-line software helps students track their success and gain energy points when they reach certain levels. The students are able to go online and check their status and teachers use it as well. The one thing the Khan Academy has done for the students is to allow each to achieve according to their ability.

''In my first year of teaching, I had kids way above and way below the rest of the class,'' Sullivan said. ''I found the Kahn Academy on line and started using it three years ago. Using it, I had one fifth grader doing calculus while the rest of the class was trying to grasp long division. The program is now part of our common core.''

Both the Kahn Academy and the summer enrichment class are prime examples of the dedication Sullivan has when it comes to effectively teaching her students. She cares about them and does the best she can to see that each one succeeds.

She also noted that in earning her Master Teacher designation, her notebook and stories were judged by other Master Teachers. Next year, as a Master Teacher, she will be evaluating another teacher's notebook.

Sullivan also passed her skills on to other teachers in Poland schools. She has been a mentor for the past two years and in the prior eight years served as lead mentor.

Covell said, ''Mrs. Sullivan is outstanding. She is what a Master Teacher should be.''



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