MPMS Impact Through Education Awards - March 10, 2014Ms. Michele TurnerMr. David LongOwen Pruitt and Frankie Helmintoller
Michele Turner, Art TeacherMichele Turner is an extraordinary Art Teacher at Mount Pleasant Middle School who, every day, makes an impact on students and staff alike. Michele, a lateral entry teacher, whose former career as a graphic designer allowed her to use her talents, began teaching in 2006 as a way to help kids see the possibility of turning talent and a love for art into a fulfilling and enjoyable career. The attraction of teaching Middle School, for Ms. Turner, was that it was where she got her start. It was there that she saw teachers sharing the love of art and Ms. Turner’s students know that same love from their teacher.Ms. Turner’s favorite moments are when she sees a student use an art technique or concept after they originally said, “I can’t”. Her students agree, saying that Ms. Turner “pushes me out of my comfort zone to create art that I didn’t know I could do”. At the same time it is very clear when you enter her class that her students are not only allowed, but guided, to make their art their own. Students do not all work on the exact same product but use the techniques that Ms. Turner teaches them in creative ways to develop personal works of art. Ms. Turner’s Advanced Art students say that her passion for art inspires them. For many it is their favorite class of the day.
Ms. Turner also has an impact on the staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School. One peer commented that, “Even though Michele Turner entered our school as a lateral entry teacher, her determination, devotion, and dedication have proven her to be a natural teacher at heart and at hand. Her quiet demeanor with all of her students serves her well as her love and enthusiasm for teaching art exudes in all areas of her life as a teacher and as a person. With Michele's own art displayed in Concord, Charlotte, and even as far as in museums in Africa, she is an excellent role model for inspiring artist, as well as just being a better student and person. She impacts students in a way that gets them to see themselves through the eyes of an artist, no matter their level of talent. She brings out the best in her students, and she molds them to be a better person by taking pride in their work and in themselves.”
Another teacher said of Ms. Turner that, “When peers consider candidates for the “Impact through Education Award”, we focus on teachers who develop students’ natural talents and prepare our learners with skills critical for their future. Ms. Turner’s compassionate approach to education exemplifies the impact she makes on Mt. Pleasant’s learners daily. She immediately earns student respect and emphasizes the importance of equality, generosity, and freedom of thought. These skills cannot be taught, simply acquired through an amazing role model.”Ms. Turner has earned awards, including an international travel grant, for her art but her students and the staff at Mt. Pleasant Middle School agree that her biggest impact is on the budding artists in our community.
David Long, CustodianDavid is married to Pam Long.
David Long is an extraordinary gentleman who goes well above and beyond his job responsibilities to make an impact on the students and staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School every day.Mr. Long is a former law enforcement officer, a pilot and a part-time accountant who chooses to be the best custodian he can be. Mr. Long is one of those one-in-a-million employees that any school feels lucky to hire. He contributes not only through his abundant wealth of expertise in many aspects of the school but also in his maturity and wisdom, his leadership, and his positive demeanor.According to Mr. Long’s co-workers he, “Has been a friend as much as he has been a co-worker. He lives his life as all should do. With pride in what he does, says, and understands. He is always willing to help anyone at any given time. He listens when needed and gives his opinion when asked. He is very knowledgeable about his work and does all that is asked of him. He sets a great example of how a person should act and be around the students and staff”.Mr. Long has impeccable, high standards for himself and others around him. He is a versatile employee with a variety of skills who, as a rule rather than an exception, goes beyond the job description. He is an extremely compassionate man who goes out of his way for others and takes a personal interest in the school, its students and its success. Mr. Long is a pillar of the Mount Pleasant Middle School community who makes a positive impact on the staff and students every day.
Frankie Helmintoller, 8th Grade StudentFrankie is the daughter of Melinda and Jeff Helmintoller.Over and over again when you talk with Frankie Helmintoller’s friends and teachers you hear them say that, “Frankie is one of the most accepting students I work with”. Frankie is always willing to work with a wide variety of people and personalities. She helps create a collaborative and non-judgmental atmosphere where it is ok to admit your weakness and to show your strengths.Frankie involves herself in her school and her community. She sings in her church youth band, she has participated in Beta Club and she is a leader on Mount Pleasant Middle School’s cheerleading squad.Frankie is a humble young lady who, when asked why she thinks the staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School voted her as the winner of this award replied, “because I turn my work in on time and put in an effort.” However, every teacher can tell you about special kids like Frankie. These are the kids that teachers rely on and trust every day. Kids like Frankie are so responsible that there is no question that they can deliver a message to the office without getting lost or get the attendance folder or just do the right thing. Frankie is that special kind of kid – the kid that teachers teach for, the kid that teachers remember, the kid that makes teaching a rewarding profession. Frankie makes an impact, every day, on students and staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School.
Owen Pruitt, 8th Grade StudentOwen is the son of Terri and Charles Pruitt.
We are naturally drawn to people who, when faced with adversity or difficulty, set a smile on their face and set their mind to get through it. And so, many staff and students are drawn to Own Pruitt, a young man who is known at Mount Pleasant Middle School for his determination, effort and sense of humor.Owen is a young man who is active in his school and his community. He played on the Mount Pleasant Middle School basketball team for two straight years, plays in the local recreational league and has attended numerous clinics and camps. Owen is a drummer who has been studying his craft for more than three years. He has performed in the Mount Pleasant Middle School talent show every year he has attended school there and has worked with the band at his church.When asked why he thinks the staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School voted him as winner of this award, Owen said that, “A lot of people say that I am funny and keep things happy, even in tough times.” Owen’s teachers say, “Owen is someone I can truly categorize as a ‘star’ student. While there are numerous students who are good at following directions, and learning what they need to learn, Owen is the kind of student who does so much more than that. The intelligence, intrigue and passion for learning that he brings to the classroom are the kinds of energy that truly make a classroom better for every student in that room. I do not just feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him and help him learn, I honestly feel genuinely honored to have had him as a student. Owen makes an impact, every day, on students and staff at Mount Pleasant Middle School.