Jacqui Nickell
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Ellen Kufel receives the award from Cheryl Barnes and Andrea Saunders.
Each year, the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who have made significant contributions in the classroom and in the community. They are selected based on professional practice, community engagement, leadership in professional development, and attention to diversity.
Lakehill Preparatory School Mathematics teacher Ellen Kufel was recognized as the Private Middle School Teacher of the Year. Kufel said she was honored to receive this year's award. "I began my career 28 years ago and hope to have left an imprint on many lives. I could not be any more satisfied with my life’s choice. I didn’t choose teaching; it was already in my DNA; it is who I am."
"I am consistently amazed by the skills Ellen is able to impart in her students and her boundless enthusiasm for providing opportunities to them," said Assistant Head of School, Lara Gajkowski. "She inspires children mathematically and instills in them a sense of accomplishment and pride. Ellen is a passionate teacher who kindles the love and support of her students by providing the right balance of structure, accountability, and fun."
"It does not get any better than this," said Kufel. "It's hard to imagine receiving such an honor for doing what you love to do! I especially would like to thank the Lakehill faculty, staff, and administration for their support, guidance, and confidence year round."
Two additional Lakehill teachers were selected as finalists in the competition. Tracy Herron was recognized in the High School category, while Laura Stout was a finalist in the Elementary 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 14, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andrea Saunders 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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