Nicole Yahl, second-grade teacher at Mesnier Primary School, has been named Affton School District’s 2022-23 Teacher of the Year.
“It is always rewarding to be celebrated by our colleagues and for our contributions to the profession to be recognized,” said Dr. Travis Bracht, superintendent. “I am inspired by Nicole’s ability to personalize learning for her students while forming lasting relationships with each of them. I am confident that she will represent the best of Affton.”
Yahl has been teaching in Affton for six years. On her Teacher of the Year nomination, a colleague states, “Nicole’s superpower is her ability to stay calm and treat each child with respect and love. Her students know she expects them to do their best work, but they also know that she cares deeply about each and every one of them.”
“As teachers, we have such an incredible gift to shape students and encourage them not only to learn, but to be GOOD humans. In order to mold these children into good human beings, we need to instill empathy, understanding of others, and strong self-worth,” explained Yahl. “I started to intentionally make an effort to include information about the many different celebrations, holidays, and events that occur in the many cultures that are represented in the Affton School District. I have watched my students turn into kind, empathetic, and understanding children that truly want to celebrate their diversities. This has allowed their confidence to grow, pride within their cultures, and increased their self-efficacy. I hope to continue making this a priority for the duration of my career because every student deserves to feel celebrated.”
Each Affton school also named a Teacher of the Year for their building. They include Yahl for Mesnier Primary; Kara Sanders at Gotsch Intermediate; Elizabeth Weber at Rogers Middle; and Allyson Wall at Affton High School.
Kara Sanders, the Gotsch Intermediate School Teacher of the Year, is the MakerSpace teacher, an Affton graduate, and has been in the Affton School District for 14 years.
Elizabeth Weber, the Rogers Middle School Teacher of the Year, is a Special School District (SSD) teacher and has been in the Affton School District for 12 years.
Allyson Wall, the Affton High School Teacher of the Year, is a science teacher, Project Lead the Way teacher, and has been in the Affton School District for over 12 years.