AnneMarie Ehler, Teacher Education Scholarship Winner, Fall I, 2011
Dominican University, in partnership with Bisk Education, Inc., proudly recognizes AnneMarie Ehler – a district instructional coach with Readington Township Public Schools in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey – as winner of the Bisk Foundation Teacher Education Scholarship for the Fall I, 2011 session. The scholarship supports the professional development of outstanding teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their students.
Ehler is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education: Reading program and is highly regarded by her peers and administrators as an exemplary individual who seamlessly incorporates her creativity, pedagogical knowledge and sincere caring for others into her job. Her commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed; as a teacher at the Academy of Our Lady in New Jersey, she was selected as Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Educator.
It comes as no surprise that Ehler is a perfect fit for a career in education. “Teaching has been my passion and driving force my entire life,” she shares. One of her earliest memories as a seven year old was going door-to-door in her neighborhood on summer mornings to invite all the younger children to her backyard to play pretend “school.”
Ehler carried this dream throughout her childhood, graduating from college in just 3 1/2 years, and taking over a second grade public school classroom before her graduation ceremony. When her children were in grade school, she taught at the same Catholic school they attended, and eventually returned to teaching in the public schools.
“Although it was not my choice, I do feel that I was put in a huge urban school as part of a larger plan… I realized very quickly I needed a new set of skills to meet the countless challenges of my new position,” Ehler says. She rapidly came to understand and empathize with the unique needs of her mostly non-native English speaking student population. “I encouraged effort, attendance, good work habits and tried to develop a love of learning to carry these children from my first grade classroom straight through to college,” she reflects. Ehler later transitioned from classroom teacher to Literacy Coach with the intent that this new position would enable her to reach even more children.
“Instead of being a positive role model and an encouraging teacher to just one class, I was now able to work with over sixty teachers and their students,” she says, “I instituted an educational book club for teachers, school teas for parents, ‘Homework Class’ to show students to their homework if no parental support was available and taught small groups throughout the day, after school and during the summer.”
Ehler’s principal, Catherine Hollinger, has nothing but high praise for Ehler’s work, stating, “Mrs. Ehler is truly an asset to education not because of what she does but because of who she is. She cares deeply about students and their learning and is committed to helping every child succeed. She is highly respected by our entire staff because they see her as a caring, knowledgeable and helpful resource who understands the many complex skills needed to be an outstanding teacher. “
Hollinger goes on to say that Ehler “is smart, experienced and approachable, and her dedication to student learning is unquestioned.”
Throughout her life, Ehler has stayed true to the dreams of her childhood: to be an excellent teacher. “My goals for these children are no different than the goals I set for my little backyard school. I hope every child is given the gift of curiosity and the joy of knowing what hard work can accomplish.”
Together with Dominican University, Bisk Education is proud to salute AnneMarie Ehler – a true everyday hero who is making a difference through the gift of education.