Position: Intervention Specialist
School: Graham High School
School District: Graham Local Schools
City, State: Saint Paris, OH
Music that Describes Mindy
Mindy Lensman was nominated by her colleague, Jonathan Comer.
"Mrs. Lensman has proven her ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students every day I've worked with her over the past 18 years," said Comer. "I have witnessed Mrs. Lensman make a 100 mile round trip to accompany the parent of a former student to a college enrollment meeting, simply because the parent asked for her help. Mrs. Lensman did this willingly on her own time and dime, even though she has her own grandchildren to tend to after work hours. Mrs. Lensman also makes a difference in the lives of students as a 4-H leader. In that capacity, she works with students outside of school to develop various vocational skills."
Mrs. Lensman creates a positive school atmosphere by treating all students with dignity and respect. She has exceptionally high expectations for her special needs students, and ultimately, they realize she is in their corner and pushing them for good reason.
Her leadership within the special education department has been apparent throughout her career. She's always welcoming to new staff and goes out of her way to help them out when they have questions or are struggling to navigate a new system. She regularly attends extracurricular activities, and she often personally takes groups of her students to school dances, ball games, etc.
Mrs. Lensman's professional performance is exemplary. She has been a key part of developing the current enclave program designed to increase work experiences for special needs students. She is well-respected by her peers around the county and the state, as her network of professional contacts is immense.
All these examples combine to demonstrate Mrs. Lensman's commitment to a nurturing atmosphere. Students typically know which teachers care the most about them and their futures. As children sometimes rebel against their parents' advice, Mrs. Lensman's students react similarly to her at times. During those struggles, Mrs. Lensman holds firm to her beliefs, and those students often "come around" once the initial issue fades and they realize she's still standing by them in the end.
Mrs. Lensman's moral and ethical standards are a part of who she is and how she handles daily situations as they arise. She never acts in a way that would jeopardize the safety or success of a student. Students often seek to take the easy way out regardless of moral and/or ethical standards. Mrs. Lensman's relationships with her students allow her to address moral or ethical dilemmas without making students feel ashamed or defeated. She always considers the perspective of the student, but does not let student reservations stop her from addressing problem behaviors head-on.
"I find Mrs. Lensman to be an inspirational leader in the field of education," said Comer. "Her commitment to her students and her school district are clearly unwavering and beneficial to the community as a whole."