GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We found the perfect time to surprise our next Teacher of the Week, as students were practicing for an upcoming choir concert. Of course, we had them chime in for the reveal.
Our latest honoree is Kaylee Tonneberger, a second grade teacher at South Olive Christian School. After the choir’s performance she said, “That makes me feel very special. I’m a first-year teacher. So, to already be recognized and wanting to be nominated is amazing.”
This choir practice quickly turned into a celebration, which “Makes me feel like I’m doing my job well,” said Tonneberger.
Principal Mark Rozeboom said, “Oh, I’m ecstatic to have a first-year teacher to be honored and so deserving, too. She’s wonderful.”
She’s one teacher students almost missed out on.
“So, I actually went to music business, originally,” said Tonneberger.
She says once she realized that career likely meant she would not be able to stay in West Michigan, where she’s from, that teaching was an easy second choice.
“I’ve always worked with children. I babysat growing up and nannying. So, I really enjoyed being with kids and helping them learn,” said Tonneberger.
Principal Rozeboom described her as, “everything that I want to give credit for when I evaluate my teachers. She’s patient, gentle, she loves the kids and she clearly cares about their progress.”
The feelings appear to be mutual.
“I love everybody here. They’re so welcoming and I felt that the first day I was here. So, to feel that love that they have for me is really special,” said Tonneberger.
The surprise reassuring this second grade teacher that she made the right career choice.
“I tell everybody, I don’t even feel like this is a job because I love waking up, coming here every day and getting to spend the day with the kids,” said Tonneberger.
If you have someone you’d like to nominate as our next Teacher of the Week, just text the word “teacher” to 616-559-1310.
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