Two Clark-Shawnee Educators Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Two Clark-Shawnee Teachers have been selected for the 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award by the Rotary Club of Springfield.

Mrs. Beth Patterson, 1st Grade Teacher at Shawnee Elementary, and Mrs. Darcy Leis, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher at Shawnee Middle School, are among the four Clark County teachers selected for this year’s award.

“Beth and Darcy are both exceptional examples of the passion, dedication, and care that make an educator excellent,” said Superintendent Mr. Brian Kuhn. “Their commitment to their profession, colleagues, and most importantly, their students, is an inspiration to everyone they meet, and we are proud to see them both honored for their contributions.”

Mrs. Beth Patterson has taught for 29 years in 1st and 2nd grades and special education and joined Clark-Shawnee in 2000. 

“It is a great honor to receive this award and represent Clark Shawnee Elementary,” said Mrs. Patterson. “Teaching is not just a job to me, it is my passion. I have been blessed to work with many amazing students, families and co-workers, through the years. Part of who I am today is because of the great people I have met throughout my career at Clark Shawnee.” 

Mrs. Patterson has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s degree in special education from Wright State University, and has taken additional coursework at Wittenberg University to obtain her administrative license.

“One of the many things that Beth taught me–and this is why I believe parents and guardians adore her so much!--is to share with adult figures the positive things students do at school, not just the negative,” said Ryan Dunn, a former student who went on to student teach with Mrs. Patterson. “A parent told Beth that before her, no other teacher has shared anything positive about their child, and the parent explained how much it meant to them. This is a prime example of how she fosters a positive learning environment in her classroom.”

A Shawnee High School graduate and former Rockway Rocket, Mrs. Darcy Leis is the 7th Grade Lead Teacher at Shawnee Middle School. She has taught for 15 years at Clark-Shawnee. 

“Teaching in the Clark-Shawnee district has always felt like a privilege,” said Mrs. Leis. “Teaching in the Clark-Shawnee district has always felt like a privilege. I graduated from Shawnee High School, my husband and I chose to build a home in this district, and my own children will be educated by Clark-Shawnee teachers. Shawnee Middle School's teaching team is unparalleled in its commitment to doing what is best for students, and I am so fortunate to be a part of that.  I am honored by this recognition, and I am grateful to the Springfield Rotary Club members for their dedication to celebrating educators.”

Mrs. Leis has a bachelor’s degree in English from Wittenberg University, and a Master of Arts degree in Literary and Textual Analysis from Bowling Green State University. 

“Mrs. Leis is probably the best at making students feel they have a safe place to communicate their needs and to learn in a fun, enjoyable way,” said former student Carah Brown, a Shawnee High School freshman. “She makes a safe place for kids and is extremely good at recognizing the needs of certain kids and teaching them to the best of her ability.”

Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Leis will be recognized along with the other recipients of the 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award at a future Springfield Rotary Club meeting.

Mrs. Patterson

Mrs. Beth Patterson

Mrs. Darcy Leis

Mrs. Darcy Leis

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