Every day, teachers touch the lives of children and their impact extends far beyond the classroom. Although we can’t ever thank them enough for their work, we can take a moment during National Teacher Appreciation Week to share our appreciation for the special educators who call Xenia home. The following two teachers are recognized for their dedication to Xenia’s students, demonstrated by their excellence in the classroom. In total, we're recognizing eight teachers this week.
Adrienne Lewis, 4th Grade Math Teacher, Arrowood Elementary School
Adrienne Lewis has been teaching in Xenia for 20 years. She knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was younger and helped her sister with her homework. She liked the feeling of helping her sister understand things better or in a different way. She wanted to become a teacher to help others, too.
Ms. Lewis excels at ensuring her students grow from year to year, said Travis Yost, Arrowood Elementary Principal.
“She is the master at using testing data to make impactful instructional decisions for her students,” Mr. Yost said.
Mrs. Lewis grew up in Xenia and has fond memories of her school years.
“Being from Xenia has helped me to build trusting relationships and make connections with my students and their parents,” Ms. Lewis said. “These connections help me to get to know students on a more personal level.”
Ms. Lewis’s classroom is a place where students can escape their worries and learn in a happy and safe environment.
“It’s important to me to create a space for my students that is relaxed, comfortable and supportive so they can focus on learning. When those needs are met, they can accomplish great things. That makes them proud, and I’m proud too,” Ms. Lewis said.
Paula Linsenbigler, 5th Grade Math Teacher, Shawnee Elementary School
Paula Linsenbigler grew up in Xenia and has taught here for 17 years. When she was in fourth grade, her mother passed away from an alcohol-related accident. School is what got her through that rough period in her life, she said.
“I had some amazing teachers who were very important influences during what was the hardest part of my life,” she said. “I had teachers who were loving, kind, and best of all – funny.”
She helped to start and currently leads the Kids Hope Mentoring program at Shawnee. She loves being able to give back to the community that fostered her love of learning.
“The students in our building and in her class look to her as a positive role model,” said Scott Poole, Shawnee Elementary Principal.
Mrs. Linsenbigler’s classroom is exciting and engaging.
“Working in Xenia has allowed me to work with students who may have similar childhood obstacles as myself, and it blesses me to think that I may have the same influence on them that some of my former Xenia teachers had on me,” she said.
Many students come to her classroom lacking confidence in math.
“I get great satisfaction knowing that I am responsible for changing their minds about what they can do,” she said. “I believe any child can learn and be in control of their future if they are willing to put in hard work.”