Teachers are some of the most dedicated and hard-working people around. But until recently, many did not give them the credit they truly deserve.
Thanks to those who are fighting for the things good teachers need, one of those special teachers who deserves recognition for all she does has received an award for that dedication and hard work.
Megan Large, U.S. history and psychology teacher at Bloom-Vernon High School, has been selected Teacher of the Year in Ohio District 10.
Large found out she had been nominated at the end of the 2017 school year, and she received a call in June that the selection committee had chosen her for District 10. There are 11 districts in Ohio, and the selection committee narrows that list to the top five and then the Ohio Teacher of the Year is chosen from that pool.
Sandy Mers, superintendent at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, nominated Large for the award. Both Mers and Large had previously taught together at Green Local Schools in Franklin Furnace. Large was the librarian for seven years at Green. Large says Mers did not tell her she had nominated her for the award. When Large received the first phone call telling her she had been nominated, she thought it was a joke. She has been an educator in Ohio for a decade.
“I definitely did not feel I should have had that opportunity, and, honestly, I kind of made it a joke to my husband, like this was not going to happen. I received a call over the summer and was just blown away.” Large is married to Matt Large, and they have a son, Easton, who is 7 years old and attends South Webster Elementary. She says he is a sports fanatic. She has a masters degree in history, and 18 additional hours in psychology, so she can teach the college credit classes. Large teaches one of her psychology and one of her history classes through Zane State.
Large spoke of how she had to keep it a secret for a long time. She had to have letters of recommendations from a few people, and she asked them not to say anything to anyone. Then, when it came out, she then told her whole family. She had told only her husband and her parents, because she thought it was not going to happen. Then, at the beginning of this school year, they had a beginning-of-the-year assembly, and it was announced to the students at that time.
Large talked of how teaching her sophomores and seniors was different, and that as separate groups, they require two different approaches in the way you teach them. “Every day is so different, every period is different. Each class has a different dynamic. I love it. I would do nothing else. I cannot imagine doing anything else.” It’s not hard to see why Mers nominated her, and why she was chosen for Teacher of the Year. Large says that when she graduated from college, this is exactly what she wanted to do. “This is my classroom, it is just what I wanted. I love it. I love what I do, and I have amazing students.”
The announcement was made by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria that Large was 2018 Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education Ohio District 10.
“Teachers are changing lives and creating futures – not only for the students, but for our communities, our state and our nation,” DeMaria said. “The Ohio Teacher of the Year program recognizes influential and inspiring educators who demonstrate some of the things I love most about teachers: they take our system to higher heights and continue the path toward excellence.”
State Board of Education member Nick Owens worked with a committee of educators, parents and business leaders to select Large as the recipient. Owens said, “Every day, Megan Large gives her students the confidence and leadership skills they will use the rest of their lives to succeed. I am honored to have selected Megan for this recognition – she is truly a selfless leader and extremely deserving of this award.”
South Webster High School Assistant Principal Gabriel Havens said, “Megan is an educator who firmly believes that all students can and do learn at high levels when high expectations are put into place. She is one of the most positive people I have ever been around, and is a leader in a school building full of high-performing teachers who teach students stricken with poverty.”
Large’s student, Jaiden Nibert, was one of the people who had written a letter on Large’s behalf. The following is just part of that letter: “I believe that she is undeniably deserving as Teacher of the Year for so many reasons that cannot be expressed in words, but I will do my best to explain. The one thing that nobody who has ever crossed her path can ignore is her positive and enthusiastic attitude. She carries it with her throughout the day and in all of her classes. No matter what is going on in her life, she never brings it into the classroom. She always greets us with a smile every time she sees us. She gives all her students equal opportunities and numerous chances to redeem themselves. It is very encouraging to always have someone who believes in you and constantly reminds all of her students that their best is good enough. Her teaching methods reach all students. She teaches in visual ways, verbal ways and hands-on ways. Her tactics reach students that other teachers would have given up on. Never once has she doubted our abilities. She does not set our limits for us, and always tells us how amazing we are.”
Large says, “I really wish that teachers could be celebrated , every teacher all the time. You know they call it Teacher of the Year, and I’ve met some phenomenal teachers through this process, going to conferences and such. But I don’t think there is just one. I think every teacher has their niche, every teacher has something special. It is all so different, different teachers reach different students all the time. I wish people could come in buildings all across the state and see what teachers do everyday. I have been blessed to work with the most amazing administrators and the most wonderful teachers. I have learned from some of the greatest. Like I said, I don’t deserve this and I don’t know anyone who necessarily does. I think there are just some amazing people out there who truthfully deserve to be recognized for it.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928