Marilyn Zylstra was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous.
Ms. Zylstra has worked in her district for nearly 50 years, and has been highly involved with students and families throughout the years. Students gather in her office at the beginning and end of the day for a greeting, hug, or smile from her. She reminds them to be on their best behavior and is always encouraging them to do their best.
"I have worked with her as a teacher, parent, and principal, and I have watched her interact with the students. She knows every student by name and they truly trust and love her," the nominator said.
Ms. Zylstra serves as secretary for students in grades 1-4. After students leave elementary school, they often follow the same routine of walking through her office at the beginning or the end of the day to get her positive reinforcement.
"When I worked with Ms. Zylstra as an administrator, I would occasionally answer the phone. Often times, parents didn't want to talk to me; they immediately asked for Ms. Zylstra, a familiar, trusted voice," the nominator said.
Ms. Zylstra not only works with families and children, but with teachers who turn to her to share their concerns or seek advice in working with a student. She has made it her life's mission to take care of the students and families with whom she works. She is dedicated to each student and she loves each one of them. Teachers and families trust her because she is truly dedicated and trustworthy.
"Throughout her career at the Wagner School, she has touched many students, and their lives have been enriched with her caring, loving, and honest approach. She is one of a kind, and we are so blessed to have her in our district," the nominator said.