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Gigi Ekstrom
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Each year, the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce (GEDCC) recognizes teachers who have made significant contributions in the classroom and in the community.

Lakehill Preparatory School English teacher Elizabeth Schmitt was recognized as the Private Middle School Teacher of the Year. Schmitt said she was she was honored to accept this year's award. "Teaching is not a job about awards," said Schmitt, "but it is both humbling and gratifying to have my work honored by the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce. I have lived in East Dallas for 25 years and have worked at Lakehill for 15, which makes this award even more special for me. I love what I do, and being selected as a GEDCC Teacher of the Year is a tremendous honor. The smile of recognition from a student or a thank you note at the end of the year or years later, however, are my most treasured prizes.

Lakehill Headmaster Roger Perry said he was especially thrilled at the way the business community turned out in force to support these teachers. "It is an honor to have one of our master teachers recognized for her outstanding accomplishments," he said. "It is reassuring to know that the business community recognizes the importance of excellence in education and supports this program wholeheartedly."

 

"We are very grateful to Ms. Schmitt and congratulate her on this wonderful honor," said Lakehill eighth grade grandparent Jim Lucius. "My wife Terry and I are so appreciative of her dedication and ability in teaching. She is pure class."

 

"Ms. Schmitt is really invested in making sure we understand the material and is committed to making learning fun," says a former student. "She encourages us and makes us feel as though our opinion matters."

 

Two additional Lakehill teachers were selected as finalists in the competition. Meredith Sauer was recognized in the Lower School category, while Martina Kroll was a finalist in the High School category.

The Teacher of the Year Awards Program solicits nominations from all public and private schools in East Dallas as well as from business and community leaders. On November 17, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Darlene Ellison presented awards to the winners at a luncheon in their honor. Set against the natural beauty of Lakehill's Alice and Erle Nye Family Environmental Science Center, the day was a fitting tribute to East Dallas's finest teachers.

 

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