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Congratulations Megan Matsumura, 2022 Gold Star Teacher of the Year!

Megan Matsumura

Grant County Middle School Special Education teacher Megan Matsumura has been crowned the 2022 Gold Star Teacher of the Year. We surprised her with the announcement in front of her students and the faculty, and it was an honor to present her award! If you know a special teacher who is making a difference in children's lives don’t forget to nominate them in the fall for the next Gold Star Teacher Award! Click here to watch Mrs. Matsumura's big surprise!

See the Video

Meet the Finalists

Amy Graff

Amy Graff

Preschool Teacher
Evanston Academy

Amy has improved the lives of all the preschoolers she has taught for the last thirty-six years, forming a strong foundation in her students at a young age. Her commitment to quality education is backed up by a 5-star ‘Step Up to Quality’ teacher rating. When Amy isn’t in the classroom, you’ll find her spending time with her family or swimming laps in the pool!

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

First Grade Teacher
South Avondale Elementary

Michael Brown went to The Ohio State University on a full scholarship where she was a member of the Young Scholar program, working towards a degree in Physical Therapy. She was inspired by another teacher to switch her major to Elementary Education and has been a teacher-leader amongst her peers since. She enjoys providing professional development to teachers, accelerating learning and closing achievement gaps. She always puts her students first and ensures everyone has a voice in the classroom.

Molly Turner

Molly Turner

Fourth Grade Teacher
Newport Intermediate School

Molly is a true example of a ‘giver’, donating her free time to the Children’s Ministry at Living Hope Baptist Church, Mission Serve and plenty of after school clubs to keep her students engaged both inside and outside of the classroom.

Jeanne Benoit

Jeanne Benoit

Fifth Grade Teacher
Sharonville Elementary

Jeanne is an enthusiastic teacher with a caring spirit for all of her students. She has been recognized multiple times by the Parent Faculty Organization and has served as the intermediate Team Leader. In the classroom, her students love the excitement she brings to her lesson plans and her bright, Flamingo-themed classroom décor!

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore

High School Teacher
Conner High School

Jon is a CHS alum who just returned to teach at the school this year and has made an immediate impact on his students. His students love the passion he brings to his lessons and how he presents US History in an engaging and understandable way.

Leona Tolliver

Leona Tolliver

First Grade Teacher
Pleasant Hill Academy

Leona has been a favorite amongst her students at Pleasant Hill Academy and other Cincinnati Public Schools for the past 20+ years. She loves spending time with her family and friends and is very involved with the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She has held several leadership roles as an educator and is very well respected amongst her students and peers.

Raven Jackson

Raven Jackson

First Grade Teacher
North College Hill Elementary

Raven Jackson is known for building a sense of community not only with her own students but with all of the children at NCH. She volunteers at every opportunity she comes across and has organized multiple programs for her students to develop professional skills, self-expression, and selflessness - modeled after her own behavior to her peers.

Tonya Montavon

Tonya Montavon

Second Grade Teacher
Merwin Elementary

Tonya has always gone above and beyond for her students for the decades she’s been at Merwin Elementary. She always makes sure her care goes beyond the classroom and has given students who are struggling at home meals and extra help as needed. She has worked tirelessly throughout the last two years to help students with not only their educational needs but emotional needs as well.

Megan Matsumura

Megan Matsumura

Grade School Teacher
Grant County Middle School

Megan is the special education teacher for GCMS and has always gone above and beyond for her students to make each one feel loved and special. She even attended the first day of high school with one of her students to make the transition easier. She is described by her peers as someone with great empathy, very personable, funny, and acts as a second mother to many of her special needs students at the school.

Mary Beth Hill

Mary Beth Hill

First-Third Grade Teacher
Dater Montessori

Mary Beth teaches first through third-grade students from a wide variety of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds with a wide range of educational and social needs. She always goes above and beyond for her students and their parents, especially throughout all of the challenges that the pandemic brought. She takes the time to know each student and their learning style, then tailors her lessons accordingly for an individualized approach that makes each student feel a special connection.

Amy Graff

Amy Graff

Preschool Teacher
Evanston Academy

Amy has improved the lives of all the preschoolers she has taught for the last thirty-six years, forming a strong foundation in her students at a young age. Her commitment to quality education is backed up by a 5-star ‘Step Up to Quality’ teacher rating. When Amy isn’t in the classroom, you’ll find her spending time with her family or swimming laps in the pool!

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

First Grade Teacher
South Avondale Elementary

Michael Brown went to The Ohio State University on a full scholarship where she was a member of the Young Scholar program, working towards a degree in Physical Therapy. She was inspired by another teacher to switch her major to Elementary Education and has been a teacher-leader amongst her peers since. She enjoys providing professional development to teachers, accelerating learning and closing achievement gaps. She always puts her students first and ensures everyone has a voice in the classroom.

Molly Turner

Molly Turner

Fourth Grade Teacher
Newport Intermediate School

Molly is a true example of a ‘giver’, donating her free time to the Children’s Ministry at Living Hope Baptist Church, Mission Serve and plenty of after school clubs to keep her students engaged both inside and outside of the classroom.

Jeanne Benoit

Jeanne Benoit

Fifth Grade Teacher
Sharonville Elementary

Jeanne is an enthusiastic teacher with a caring spirit for all of her students. She has been recognized multiple times by the Parent Faculty Organization and has served as the intermediate Team Leader. In the classroom, her students love the excitement she brings to her lesson plans and her bright, Flamingo-themed classroom décor!

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore

High School Teacher
Conner High School

Jon is a CHS alum who just returned to teach at the school this year and has made an immediate impact on his students. His students love the passion he brings to his lessons and how he presents US History in an engaging and understandable way.

Leona Tolliver

Leona Tolliver

First Grade Teacher
Pleasant Hill Academy

Leona has been a favorite amongst her students at Pleasant Hill Academy and other Cincinnati Public Schools for the past 20+ years. She loves spending time with her family and friends and is very involved with the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She has held several leadership roles as an educator and is very well respected amongst her students and peers.

Raven Jackson

Raven Jackson

First Grade Teacher
North College Hill Elementary

Raven Jackson is known for building a sense of community not only with her own students but with all of the children at NCH. She volunteers at every opportunity she comes across and has organized multiple programs for her students to develop professional skills, self-expression, and selflessness - modeled after her own behavior to her peers.

Tonya Montavon

Tonya Montavon

Second Grade Teacher
Merwin Elementary

Tonya has always gone above and beyond for her students for the decades she’s been at Merwin Elementary. She always makes sure her care goes beyond the classroom and has given students who are struggling at home meals and extra help as needed. She has worked tirelessly throughout the last two years to help students with not only their educational needs but emotional needs as well.

Megan Matsumura

Megan Matsumura

Grade School Teacher
Grant County Middle School

Megan is the special education teacher for GCMS and has always gone above and beyond for her students to make each one feel loved and special. She even attended the first day of high school with one of her students to make the transition easier. She is described by her peers as someone with great empathy, very personable, funny, and acts as a second mother to many of her special needs students at the school.

Mary Beth Hill

Mary Beth Hill

First-Third Grade Teacher
Dater Montessori

Mary Beth teaches first through third-grade students from a wide variety of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds with a wide range of educational and social needs. She always goes above and beyond for her students and their parents, especially throughout all of the challenges that the pandemic brought. She takes the time to know each student and their learning style, then tailors her lessons accordingly for an individualized approach that makes each student feel a special connection.

Who will Win the 2023 Gold Star Teacher Award?

It’s NOT too early to start thinking about who you will nominate for the 2023 Gold Star Teacher Award! Nominates will start in January 2023, so stay tuned and remember your favorite teacher next year, too!

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