LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lea Fennessy

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Rio Elementary School
School District: Rio Community Schools
City, State: Rio, WI

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Lea Fennessy was nominated by her colleague, Samantha Marquardt.

Marquardt has known Ms. Fennessy for seven years as a dedicated, caring and well-informed educator. Two of Marquardt's children were lucky enough to have had Ms. Fennessy as their first grade teacher.

"Lea uses best practices in the literacy and math activities and has a solid understanding of what is developmentally appropriate for first graders," Marquardt said. "She maintains a well-balanced classroom environment and utilizes a range of multi-sensory activities to reach the needs of her students. She grows a true classroom community with her students. The students care about each other and work together. Lea understands that all students have individual strengths and works with the students to grow those strengths. She is sensitive to all student needs as well."

Ms. Fennessy is a leader and nurturer within her school staff. She attends meaningful professional development and shares her learning with others. Currently, she is working with a small group of teachers to create a free book fair for all students to get books to read over the summer. She helps plan team-building activities for staff and is known as a supportive colleague.

"Lea is an amazing educator and colleague," Marquardt said. "She sets an excellent example for us all. I am lucky to call her a colleague and friend."

Comments (1)

Megan Hartley Posted over a year ago

Lea taught my son when he was in first grade, and she helped foster a life-long love of learning for him. He adored her and told me almost daily how much fun he was having in school. Later, I won the student teacher lottery when I got to work with her while earning my degree in early childhood education, which eventually led us to become co-teachers. I can not have asked for a better teacher for my son or for myself, or for a better teaching partner. Not only can I credit her with teaching me so many things about being a teacher, but with making every day an amazing adventure full of laughter and a strong sense of belonging. She's absolutely amazing, and she is definitely a life changer.