Cloverleaf Elementary School music teacher Lisa Heinrich has been named the 2019 Medina County Teacher of the Year. She received the honor -- formally known as the Homer B. Smith Teacher of Excellence Award -- at the March 19 meeting of the Cloverleaf Board of Education.
Heinrich teaches general music to more than 600 students in grades kindergarten through fifth. In the course of the school year, she organizes five major public performances that combine singing, dancing, speaking, and playing instruments. In addition, she provides before- and after-school choir opportunities for students and presents an annual Grandparents Day for families of second-graders.
Heinrich has also created opportunities for students to learn from diverse world cultures, bringing performers from China, Uganda, Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan into the school. Heinrich’s work has been published in The Orff Echo professional journal and she helped create a video for fellow music educators on how to incorporate beatboxing into teaching the recorder.
The Teacher of the Year honor was presented by Educational Service Center of Medina County Superintendent William Koran and the award’s namesake, retired ESC Superintendent Homer B. Smith.
Smith highlighted some of the qualities that propelled Heinrich to the front of the class of Medina County’s more than 1,500 teachers for this year’s award. He lauded her efforts to create positive connections between school and community, Heinrich’s ability to lead by example, her work to meet the needs of all students regardless of their differences, and her advocacy of public education.
“Those are the kind of things that make you an elite teacher,” Smith said. “It gives me great pleasure to present this to you. “
The Teacher of Excellence Award is accompanied by a $1,500 gift certificate that can be used to attend a professional development conference of the teacher’s choice, Koran added.
Before the board of education recessed for a brief reception in her honor, Heinrich took a moment to express her gratitude to the roomful of family members, teaching colleagues, administrators and others who responded with a standing ovation as she received the award.
“This is really a team effort and I think we all earned this together,” she said.
Heinrich is in her 12th year at Cloverleaf and 16th year of teaching overall. She holds a master’s degree in music from Cleveland State University, as well as bachelor’s degrees in music education and German from Bowling Green State University.
In the photo: (From left) Medina County ESC Superintendent Will Koran, Cloverleaf teacher Lisa Heinrich, and retired ESC Superintendent Homer Smith