GREENVILLE – Nominated by her peers and students, Greenville High School math teacher Elizabeth Shields was named Greenville Kiwanis Club Teacher of the Year this week.
Honored during Wednesday’s regular Kiwanis Club meeting, Shields heard excerpts from some of the nominations, read by GHS Principal Stan Hughes.
“Student focused,” “tremendous rapport” with students, “always focused on her students,” “an amazing teacher and her students respect her” were a few of the comments from Shields’ nomination letters.
Hughes thanked club members for “allowing our teachers and students a chance to recognize our staff. We are looking for things that are good in our schools.”
Shields, a 2008 GHS graduate, attended the University of Dayton, graduating in 2015. She’s in her fourth year teaching math at Greenville.
Shields said her love of numbers and math concepts have been with her throughout her life.
“Since I was a young child, math was always my favorite subject,” she said, pointing out her grandfather, Duane Shields also taught math at GHS, retiring before she had the opportunity to be his student.
Shields has the opportunity to teach several math courses at GHS, including formal geometry, AP courses and automotive math for the Career Tech Center’s auto tech program.
“I know more about a car than I ever knew before,” she shared, noting that teaching how math is utilized in designing vehicles has allowed her to learn alongside her students.
“That’s been fun,” she said.
Shields also said she’s enjoying working alongside some of her former math teachers, including Beth Arnold and Tammy Griesdorn, as well as a couple teachers who have moved on to other districts – Tammy Green, now teaching at Ansonia and Bob Batty, who teaches in Covington.
“It’s been cool to work with them,” she said.
Shields believes her teaching style is what appeals to students, many who struggle with the concepts of math.
“I have the kids set up in groups and allow plenty of time to work together during class time,” Shields explained. “From the beginning of the year, the students work together. It’s very interactive.”
Students enjoy using iPads and do a lot of online activities in class, Shields noted.
Shields also is a mentor to some of the younger members of her family.
“I ask them how they’re doing with math and want to know how they’re learning,” she said, pointing out one young cousin in particular may be carrying on the family tradition with his “math-centered brain.”
When she’s not teaching or coming up with lesson plans, Shields enjoys spending time with her family and running.
She’s completed several half marathons, including events in Indianapolis and Columbus, and runs with a group of GHS teachers, some who have joined her for the marathons.
“We have a little running crew here,” Shields said.
PHOTO CAPTION: GHS math teacher Elizabeth Shields, center was named Kiwanis Teacher of the Year on Wednesday. Shields is pictured with Kiwanis Club President Greg Zechar, left and GHS Principal Stan Hughes, right. (Gaylen Blosser photo)