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When Louisville Middle School intervention specialist Chelsea Ball was recently awarded the Amazing Teaching Award and its monthly national prize, she was not expecting the recognition.
“I love teaching, and I am very passionate about it,” said Ball. “I treat students and parents with respect and dignity that everyone deserves. It always catches me off guard to be recognized for my work.”
The USA Today Network and its affiliated media organizations are partnering with local sponsor Walsh University to celebrate our community’s educators through the Amazing Teachers program. Amazing Teachers is a company-wide initiative that recognizes teachers across the nation. Throughout the year, community members nominate teachers from their local school districts, provide their information and a give a description of the extraordinary ways that teacher makes a difference.
Every month, local teachers are selected from submitted entries and featured at a regional level. On a larger scale, one of the nominated teachers is awarded the monthly national prize, recognized across the network’s media channels and entered for a chance to win the annual National Teacher of the Year prize of $10,000. As the local sponsor, Walsh University had Dr. Gary Jacobs, chair of the division of education, present Ball, the national winner, with the monthly prize — a check for $5,000.
“We really feel strongly about supporting our local teachers and thought this was a wonderful program to invest in,” said Walsh University Vice President of Marketing and Communications Teresa Fox. “They are truly servant leaders who are shaping our future generations.”
Ball is entering her sixth year of teaching, and currently teaches sixth grade language arts inclusion classes. She chose to pursue a career in education while she was in high school after getting a job babysitting a child with special needs. Her connection with her work extends outside of the classroom with her three brothers-in-law who all also have special needs.
“The more I get exposure to different places and environments, the more I realize how unique of a perspective that I have,” said Ball. “I’m humbled at being able to really show Louisville how to get the kids to work together as a team and encourage their coping skills.”
Before her current position, Ball’s first year teaching was in an alternative school for students with autism. She then taught with the Stark County Educational Service Center serving students with emotional and behavioral needs.
“I love teaching, learning how to collect data and the process of developing communication skills,” said Ball. “It’s taught me to be patient, ask for help from colleagues and be confident in myself.”
According to those who nominated Ball for the award, she is dedicated and passionate about her work and students. She strives to help her students and families reach their potential in all areas.
“I love working with kids to help them become the best versions of themselves and watch them grow,” Ball said. “The reason why I became a teacher was to make sure that each kid knows they have somebody that cares about them, and that’s my biggest takeaway from teaching as a whole. You really have to care about the kids first before they can learn from you.”