PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Pulaski County Special School District Board of Education awarded the first quarter Inspiration in Education award for the 2022-2023 school year at its board meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
The first installment of this school year’s Inspiration in Education award was presented to Wendy Kohler, a teacher at Joe T. Robinson Middle School. There were 34 PCSSD employees among the nominations for this first quarter award with 16 different employees receiving votes.
As is the case for many teachers, the job duties often extend beyond the classroom. According to many of Kohler’s colleagues, she takes on those extra responsibilities without any complaints. Kohler arrives at school earlier than most every day and is a rockstar traffic monitor as she carefully guides students into the building through the morning car drop off line. She’s also in charge of the yearbook for Robinson Middle School this year, a task she assumed with excitement.
“I’ve got a group of sixth graders who are excited to take the lead on this project,” Kohler said when accepting the award on Tuesday evening. “This will be 100% their pride and joy. I’m simply here to facilitate and help where I can.”
As a veteran teacher, Kohler is a mentor to many at Robinson Middle. Catherine Ziller, a fellow Robinson Middle teacher and the one who nominated Kohler, says that she is the epitome of being a servant leader.
“Coach Kohler has always been a supportive pillar at RMS. Some teachers think they are and strive to be servant leaders, but she is the greatest example of a servant leader,” Ziller said in her nomination. “She is always available to help and mentor other teachers. She never asks for anything in return.”
In addition to her full time job as a middle school teacher, Kohler is pursuing a masters degree in instructional technology. She said she’s always looking for ways to expand her toolbox to ultimately help others.
The Board of Education created the Inspiration in Education award to honor certified and support staff members who are inspirational to their students or colleagues in their roles at PCSSD. Additionally, the award recognizes employees who exhibit traits including leadership, mentoring, dedication, excellence and effectiveness in their places of work.
The Inspiration in Education award is presented to the winner quarterly in October, December, February and May. Anyone may nominate a PCSSD employee for the award. The applications are reviewed by the Superintendent's Cabinet for ranking, and the highest scorer is named the quarterly winner and receives the award from the PCSSD Board of Education.