LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Cheryl Patty

Position: Retiring Science Teacher
School: Westmoreland School
School District: SAU 29
City, State: Westmoreland, NH

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Cheryl Patty was nominated by her friend, Jed Butterfield.

"I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Patty while I was a science teacher and department chair at Monadnock Regional High School. She was a middle school science teacher at the time," said Butterfield. "On many occasions, I had the opportunity to directly observe Ms. Patty in the classroom and in meetings as she interacted with students and staff. In my 38 years in public education, I have rarely seen a teacher as enthusiastic and as committed to the students as Ms. Patty. She has the unique knack of challenging students with demonstrations and activities that not only "wow" them, but engage them and make them think!"

Ms. Patty's sense of humor and zest for life create an atmosphere for learning where she and the students have fun. Her infectious laugh draws people in and puts them at ease.  Ms. Patty understands and appreciates the variety of learning styles her students exhibit. More importantly, she understands what it means to be an adolescent who is growing, maturing, and trying to establish themselves as an individual as they make their way in the world.

Ms. Patty cares for every student, and her ability to connect with them and make them feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated is a gift. As students' personal and psychological needs are met, they are willing to let down their guard and take risks. This helps students by maximizing both their learning and their potential. Ms. Patty does this naturally and is a master at it. While the education of each student is her top priority, the development of her students' confidence and character is equally as important.

"I have seen Ms. Patty advocate for students in department and staff meetings," said Butterfield. "She is able to see through the politics and the red tape and cut to the chase. She always wants to know, 'how will this help kids?' Often, the conversation shifts to become more student-centered and less adult or organizational-centered. She always keeps students at the center of what she does. Ms. Patty is a leader among her peers and is well-respected and appreciated by the parents and larger Westmoreland community, as she was in our Monadnock community."

You don't replace a Ms. Patty - her shoes are too big. When Ms. Patty retires, there will be a vacuum that will be hard to fill. However, she has served her students well and given her very best. Her career isn't really coming to an end - it's simply complete. The ripple effect of the learning experiences and personal development her students have gained through her skill will benefit them for the rest of their lives, and even beyond them to their children, and their children's children.

"As educators, we touch the future, and that is so true with Ms. Patty," said Butterfield. "It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Patty. She has enriched my life in so many ways. I wish her all the best in her retirement - she deserves it!"

Comments (32)

Deb Hunter Posted 8 months ago

What can I say about Mrs Patty that hasn’t already been said? As a parent, fellow educator and former school board chair (fortunately while Mrs Patty was at Westmoreland School)...I couldn’t be more proud of her! What comes to mind is appreciation, fun, caring, gratitude, joy and heart! Thank you for being a part of my children’s lives as a mentor and mine as inspiration!

Melissa Crotto-Young Posted 8 months ago

Cheryl Patty is the most supportive colleague that anyone could ask for. She is truly there for staff as well as students. In addition, she is such a role model for anyone who teaches. In teaching with Cheryl, I have learned so much about how to challenge, engage, and motivate students. We at Westmoreland are always so impressed with how much she does - anything from leading student council to launching rockets. Whatever she does, she gives it 100% and it is guaranteed to be a blast! I feel incredibly lucky that my own daughter was taught by her for a year, and although we will miss her terribly, we know that she will always be a member of our Bulldog family!

Marni Walter Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty has been a wonderful and caring teacher to both my girls! She is inspiring but also practical, and always keeps things interesting. From a parent's perspective I felt that she really works with each child's strengths while helping them through their individual challenges. Outside of the science classroom, she is always actively involved in school activities, whether making everyone laugh at the talent show, helping to organize trunk-or-treat, or many other activities throughout the year.

Rachael M Fowler Posted 8 months ago

Cheryl Patty is the type of teacher that every teacher should strive to be. She is dedicated, kind, creative, fun, and in my youngest sons words “intelligent, unique and can find the good in anyone”. Cheryl has taught both of my children and they have not only gained a wonderful knowledge of science, but also learned from her how to be kind citizens. They have been taught that they have to work hard and advocate for themselves. She has instilled in them a level of pride in all that they do. I have also been lucky enough to work with her and learn from her. Her dedication to the students and the school is like no other! She certainly is a life changer!

Jenny and David Harville Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty is a wonderful, caring middle school teacher. Both of our chidren enjoyed learning science from her for 4 years at Westmoreland School. She sees each child as special with his or her individual gifts, and she knows every child in the school. She always offers guidance and compassion to students.

linda groiss Posted 8 months ago

great teacher for both my sons! Thanks for making science fun:)

Brendan Goodwin Posted 8 months ago

Congrats Cheryl! While I haven't known you for long, my time spent so far at Westmoreland has been great, and I'm so happy I got to work with you for a year. Your attitude towards education is inspiring. Have a great retirement!

Al & Pam Bielunis Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty was at Monadnock Regional High School when our children were there and now she is at Westmoreland School where our grandson attends school so we have known her for about 25 years. It does not matter if a student actually has Mrs. Patty as their teacher because she is not only a great teacher, she is a great person! She creates a culture that encompasses all the students within the school. She accepts everyone; no one feels left out. Her door is always open to anyone, whether it is just for a moment, needs an encouraging word, or wants help with an assignment. She encompasses all learning styles in her lessons fostering a love of science in her students. In addition, she is involved in many of the school's activities and is the advisor for the very busy student council. This year the students dedicated the yearbook to Mrs. Patty and they painted a rock on the grounds in front of the school to commemorate her dedication to Westmoreland School. She is an amazing teacher, an awesome individual, and would be the perfect recipient of the 1st Life Changer of the Year Capstone Award. She would make it proud! I highly recommend she be selected for this honor.

Amy Royce Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty is simply the best. She taught both of my children at Westmoreland. I have also have had the pleasure of being her colleague. She is an incredibly dedicated teacher. She spends hours at the school planning fun and engaging activities for our students. She was not just a science teacher, but our student council advisor as well. For many years she brought the 6th grade to Nature's Classroom. She is always putting the needs of her students first. She loves coming to support them in their extracurricular activities. She truly loves her students and her job. She will be greatly missed.

Hannah Stetson Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty has been my science teacher through my entire middle school experience. Her attitude and humor draw you right into her classroom. Her teaching style keeps you engaged through any subject. All of her labs were both safe and fun. If you entered school having a bad day, the second you walked into Mrs. Patty’s classroom you would have a smile on your face. I am so thankful that she was my science teacher through middle school. I will really miss Mrs. Patty’s smiling face and positive attitude.

Marisa Stetson Posted 8 months ago

I had Mrs Patty as my science teacher for 5th through 8th grade. I always loved science with Mrs Patty because she was so enthusiastic while teaching. I have had some of the best times in Mrs Patty’s classroom. All of the labs we did were amazing. We may have struggled but we always learned something. I was so disgusted when I found out we were going to dissect fetal pigs, but it was the most interesting experience I’ve ever had. It also helped me learn so much about anatomy. My favorite memory with Mrs Patty was during one of the last labs of my 8th grade year. We were learning about the Hindenburg, and how hydrogen lights on fire very easily. We filled balloons with hydrogen then lit a match on the end of a meter stick. It was so cool to see the balloons explode in a ball of flame. Overall Mrs Patty made me love science and want to learn more. It is now one of my favorite school subjects and I can thank her for that.

Lisa Marazoff Posted 8 months ago

If you had a child at Westmoreland School, then you knew Mrs Patty. She truly captured the kids attention and made learning fun for all her students. I am thankful we moved to Westmoreland when my daughter entered 6th grade because the smaller environment was great for her learning. Westmoreland has a dedicated group of excellent teachers, of which Mrs. Patty leads the pack! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication Mrs Patty.

Evan Ahnert Posted 8 months ago

I have had Mrs. Patty in science since the first year of fifth grade, and we're a small school. So you really get to know people, well let me say I'm so glad I really got to know her! She is an all around amazing teacher, she taught us some really neat things, but she did it in either a fun way or hands on so we would have more experience with it. Mrs. Patty loved doing hands on, and for me I felt very lucky being in 7th grade and getting to do lots of hands on activities. Mrs. Patty definitely changed the way I think on some things, I learned some things that my parents learned wrong an dI was able to show them through my work and the internet thanks to Mrs. Patty. Also being in a small school really gets to know you! We knew all sorts of stuff about Mrs. Patty. I am a hockey player and through talking to her I got to know that her son played some hockey pretty high up and he is also a coach for one of the colleges. We also knew Mrs. Patty had a dog and sometimes brought it into class, I know that probably sounds like she could have brought a dog into a classroom which has someone who is allergic to dogs, but no! Since we're a small school she would know. I remember I was taking home the Guinea pigs for the summer and then a girl was joining the middle school and she asked if I could keep them, I was happy to, and I still have one today. Mrs. Patty had a sense of humor and always brought it through class to cheer us up, though she'd get strict when she needed to, like one of my class mates were doing something potentially dangerous for other kids, that sort of thing, Which leads to how Mrs. Patty was always looking out for our safety. She did lots of hands on and with doing hands on, we always had to wear the right protective gear, she would never put us in harms way and always washed the glassware so we didn't cut ourselves, whenever one of our friends would accidentally harm themselves, she would not panic, she would stay very calm and knew what to do. Mrs. Patty was an amazing teacher and to be an amazing teacher you must be amazing out of class. Mrs. Patty definitely was, she was always there if we needed someone to talk to! Outside of the classroom you could qualify her as friend, you could trust her. She always had her room open to anyone during lunch, if you needed to work, if you wanted to talk, if you need a little more help, she was always there. On that note, I bet there are a lot of good candidates, so let me say, Mrs. Patty is one of the best teachers you'll ever meet.

Sandy Raabe Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Patty So long ago, but I remember your sincere kindness toward the children! Congratulations to you. Very deserving!

Christina Bridges Posted 8 months ago

I have been looking for years to having my kids in Ms Patty's classes. I am well-impressed with her positive attitude and ability to inspire students through her science projects and school spirit. My eldest always looks forward to seeing the rocket contest near the end of the year. I am sad that she is retiring but wish her all the best in her new adventures.

Mark Hayward Posted 8 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Patty over the last 9 years and she will be sorely missed by all, definitely leaving a void in the culture of our school and a huge legacy behind her. I feel blessed that my daughters were some of the many Westmorelanders that were able to have her as a teacher and she is a living legend in our household for everything she does for her students. Not just for her incredible efforts to bring real life hands on learning in the science classroom, but for her leadership with our student leaders in student council bringing festivities, food drives and fun, her collaboration and experience with her peers, and her amazing attitude and Bulldog spirit that she brings everyday. She is intelligent, funny, thoughtful, compassionate, and a true model of a life longer learner who cares deeply about everyone in our school community.

Amy Ballou Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Patty was my 8th grade science teacher at Monadnock. She was a awesome teacher and connected well with all of her students. She made science interesting and fun. Our class chose her as our advisor and continued with us until we graduated. Now Mrs. Patty and I work in the same school district and she teaches at my son's school. He is very disappointed that she is retiring and will not be his teacher when he gets to middle school age. She is more than just a science teacher; she is involved in many activities that take place in the entire school (K-8). She positively influences every student in the school, not just the ones in her classes. She has an upbeat personality, injecting excitement and energy into everything she does. She is highly respected within the Westmoreland community and there will be a void when she retires. She has many years of experience, expertise in the field of science, and the mechanics of teaching and interacting with students. She is very approachable by students, parents, colleagues and the administration. She exemplifies the model of a true teacher who genuinely cares about ALL the students and makes a significant impact on who they become as adults. This Capstone Award would be the perfect final stone on her career in education.

Tom Bunszel Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Patty was my home room teacher in 6th grade and i was her first home room in westmoreland. She has a bottomless pit of love for every one of her students and never fails to make lessons interesting and fun!

Amanda Cray Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Patty has been a wonderful teacher to my son. He has learned a lot from her. She is a very knowledgeable, well respected, dedicated teacher. I enjoyed the last few years of her teaching my son. My son Romello is very sad she is retiring. He really enjoyed learning from her. She is an inspiration to teacher, parents and students.

Rylee Hayes Posted 9 months ago

Mrs. Patty was my home room teacher when I first moved to Westmoreland in sixth grade and was extremely helpful to me in my first few days figuring out my new school. In eighth grade I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that I struggled heavily with in school, and she was always supportive and understanding. I graduated 7 years ago and still make it a point to visit her at least twice a year. She’s definitely one of the best!

Laurie Goodrich Posted 9 months ago

Ms. Patty instilled an incredible love of science in all of my children, but especially my youngest daughter. That daughter is now proudly service our Navy as a nuclear engineer with plans to return to school and possibly teach science! Thank you Ms. Patty!!

Cheryl Zajac Posted 9 months ago

My son calls Mrs. Patty his favorite teacher, and that means quite a lot coming from him. It takes a very strong and talented teacher to make a child like mine excited about school, and Mrs. Patty has done just that. He loves science thanks to her and now thinks science is cool! We’re sad to see her retire but wish her all the best. This nomination is well deserved!

Debbie Nelson Posted 9 months ago

If one were to look up the word Teacher in the dictionary the definition should just read Cheryl Patty. Cheryl is the true essence of a teacher and after her thirty years of teaching she is still just a passionate about it as she was her first year and it shows in the students enthusiasm in her classroom. Cheryl's dedication to teaching is evident as she is the first one to arrive and the last one to leave each day. She is a ray of sunshine that will be greatly missed by staff, students, parents and community members. A retirement well earned and deserved!

Susanne Bates Posted 9 months ago

I am blessed to be a coworker of Cheryl’s. On a personal level, there is no one better. She is a “half-full” person, seeing the best things in life. Her positive attitude and sincerity are a “life-changer” for your day. Coupled with her contagious laugh, you always feel better after chatting with Cheryl. That genuineness is what connects with students, as well. They know that she is invested in them and will work hard to engage them to foster their growth both academically and personally. The years Cheryl has been at Westmoreland School has been a gift to both students and staff. She has touched so many of us. Wishing her a wonderful retirement!

Paul Deschenes Posted 9 months ago

I have been privileged to work with Cheryl for over fifteen years and have always enjoyed it, learned from it and been inspired by it. I knew from the start that she would bring a great positive energy, leadership structure and advocacy to our school community. She is always a favorite among our students yet also manages to draw the most out of them. She is always at the school, goes far beyond what is required, and has always given of herself and her resources to enrich and further the education of our students. She is a positive role model for both new and senior staff, and yet does it all with a great sense of humor and a great flexibility, badly needed when working with middle school students! She has been a great asset to Westmoreland School and her leadership and mentoring will be greatly missed!

Robyne Adams Posted 9 months ago

I am a parent and small business owner in Westmoreland where Mrs Patty teaches. Not only did my children have the honor and privilege to have Mrs Patty in class but I have employed several of her students. I can say with great confidence that she has influenced them all In such a positive way. We have been blessed by her loving spirit all these years and she will be greatly missed from our school but we are encouraged to have her in our community for years to come. Congratulations on this nomination, it is so well deserved.

Kendra DiLegge Posted 9 months ago

Cheryl Patty is extraordinary in every way. She is a committed and passionate human being. As an educator she inspires students to be curious, question why things happen and to problem solve. She challenges students to be inquisitive, investigate and learn through lab experiences. Hands on learning is seen in her classroom everyday. She engages students in the learning process, she supports students when they are in need of additional instruction. She has the desire to teach students how to be accountable, treats them with respect, while setting a high standard for their academic work. She empowers and inspires all students and teaches them how to be young scientists. She challenges them to explore their wonders and to question why things happen in the world of science and to apply a process of questioning that would allow the student to gain a deeper knowledge in that content area. Her level of commitment to the students and families is reflected in the school programming every year. She is the advisor for Student Council and assists the students as they plan school wide events for the benefit of our school community and community at large. She is the kind of teacher who will still be in her classroom until the evenings and weekends to support, prepare and implement her programming, curriculum and ideas. We have been blessed to have Mrs. Patty as our Science Teacher! She has impacted many scholars who have had the great fortune to be one of her students. I believe her energy and passion has been passed along to her students who will carry on the love of Science. -Mrs. DiLegge

Stacy Riendeau Posted 9 months ago

Cheryl is a coworker with me at Westmoreland School. She is always willing to lend a hand. I teach first grade. If I need anything for Science materials, Cheryl's room is where I go. She is so kind and cares about so many people, She works hard to make her lessons and labs fun and engaging for the students. Cheryl Patty is who I would pick for this award!!

Briana Karasinski Posted 9 months ago

Ms. Patty was my eighth grade science teacher. She was one of the first teachers who helped me love science. Over the last 12 years, I've done extremely well in science classes; chemistry, anatomy, pathophysiology etc. I will be celebrating my fourth year of being a nurse in June. I hope that I am half as awesome teacher as Ms. Patty, this is my first year of being an adjuct college professor while I finish my MSN. Congratulations Ms. Patty!!!!

Priebe Family Posted 9 months ago

Words truly cannot express how grateful we feel to have had Mrs. Patty be our children's Science teacher. She goes above and beyond with each of her students, she is always teaching in a fun and adventurous way. A way where each student can learn and engage in what is being taught. She teaches Middle school but our first grader got in the habit of going in to see her reptiles, and ask questions or borrow reptile books she would take the time and show him where to find he answers to his questions. He has been visiting her classroom for the past 2 years now. She is passionate, thoughtful, caring, hard working, and truly a unbelievably outstanding teacher. When ever you enter her classroom she welcomes you with a great big HELLO, it is always a happy vibe and every feels welcome. All of her students want to be in her classroom even when they don't have class. She teaches kids like no other, from dissecting pigs to building and launching their own rockets. Her classroom is what all of the younger Elementary students look forward to being in her class one day. Mrs. Patty is an extraordinary and passionate teacher. I could not think of a better person to receive this award. Her life is teaching. Her passion is teaching.

Mike Wright Posted 9 months ago

Cheryl’s sense of humor and genuine love for her students and science will be missed. She is truly a gifted teacher. Enjoy your retirement!

Caragh Wilder Posted 9 months ago

Cheryl Patty is the teacher you strive to be and someone you look up to in every aspect of the profession. She is passionate, caring, thoughtful, and above all truly loves the field of science. Cheryl brings her classes to life, encouraging students to explore the world around them. Her endless labs and interactive classes were always engaging. As her colleague, I would find myself going into her classes to see what all the excitement was about. I was just as thrilled as the students to see what crazy experiment she had planned for the day. Cheryl Patty is a teacher that you love to have as a coworker and friends. She is someone you can go to for advice or just to chat about how life is going. I have jokingly called her my work mom since I started working at Westmoreland in 2013, but know that I would not be the teacher I am today without her support and guidance.