LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dina Marschke

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Sunrise Park Elementary School
School District: Palm Beach County School District
City, State: Boca Raton, FL

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Dina Marschke was nominated by her colleague, Lindsay Hodes.

Ms. Marschke was a 2019 Dwyer Award Nominee. She is truly a LifeChanger, not only to her students, but to colleagues and the community.

She has such a passion for teaching, and it illuminates when you're in her classroom. All of her students are her Sweethearts. Ms. Marschke goes above and beyond teaching them the required standards. She promotes a love for learning and knows how to make it fun. She will even go out of her way to purchase her own resources to engage her kids. Her love for her students goes beyond the curriculum.  She learns about every child who walks through her door and makes connections. Her students and parents become her family. In fact,  she puts on a Thanksgiving Feast every year to show them how much she cares about them.

Ms. Marschke is also a fabulous colleague! She goes out of her way to make her teammates shine. She's best described as friendly, kind, and humble. Ms. Marschke trudges through every obstacle with grace and dignity. She is truly a team player. Anytime someone needs help, a science tool, a book, or manipulatives, she drops whatever she is doing to help.

If all that is not enough, Ms. Marschke makes a difference in her community. She spearheads Kindness Matters at Sunrise Park Elementary. In her classroom, she teaches her students the importance of bucket filling and donating to those in need. Each year, she holds a fundraiser with her Sweethearts. At the end of the year, they all meet at Boca Helping Hands and donate the funds they raise.

"Dina is an amazing friend to everyone," said Hodes. "She is the epitome of kindness and will go out of her way for anyone in need."



Comments (32)


Molly Posted over a year ago

Dina Marschke has helped change my life - especially in teaching! When I first started teaching she was assigned as my mentor! Through some interactions with those who were mentors to others, I realized how truly blessed I was to be able to learn from her! She always believed in me and let me take my own path to build my own sense of teacher identity! She was always supportive and never judgmental! She was/is passionate about her job and her students as well as everyone she works with! She wants the best for everyone around her and is always ready to drop what she is doing to help you with what you need. I once read from the book Dare to Lead that “Trust is the stacking and layering of small moments and reciprocal vulnerability over time (Brown, 2018).” While being a team leader and mentor, she established the trusting relationship through the “layering of the small moments”. Dina’s selflessness and ability to see past her own needs and emotions is what sets her apart as being a life changer because putting others first is how you change lives.

Jessica Summers Posted over a year ago

You taught with love and compassion. Your purpose and example set, was to build up every young fourth grade boy and girl to believe in themselves to be anything they set out to be. You took time for each student in my class, mostly behind the scenes, to work with them on their goals or may be something they may be struggling with, unknowingly. I felt welcomed, I felt seen, I felt understood and most of all, I felt loved. 23 years later, I know I am who I am because I had you as my teacher

Lisa Giannakopulos Posted over a year ago

Mrs Marschke not only is a wonderful teacher of academics, but the way she incorporates kindness into every lesson is invaluable. While being in her first grade class, my son became a mini philanthropist. Anything he made (he is very creative), he would try to sell (and succeeded!) to raise money for Boca Helping Hands and other charities. Mrs Marschke instills in her students that being kind and giving back is just as important as advanced reading and math. My son refers to his first grade experience quite often, and he will carry the wonderful lessons of Mrs Marschke for the rest of his life. She is a true sweetheart!

Larry Marschke Posted over a year ago

Dina changes the lives of all she meets by smiling and charging them with her kindness.

Rachael Posted over a year ago

You are simply amazing.

Dawn Sarnelli Posted over a year ago

Dina Marschke is the ideal candidate to be honored with the Life Changer of the Year Award. A family who has the privilege of having a child in her class is blessed with not only an amazingly skilled teacher, but also with a human being with the biggest heart who will nurture them and make them feel loved. My family was fortunate to be blessed with Mrs. Marschke as a kindergarten teacher three times.

Jamie Riley Posted over a year ago

There are so many things that I love about Dina! When I started teaching in the classroom next door I met one of my best friends. Even though I was a veteran teacher, she taught me so much! She guided me through my first year teaching Kindergarten! She is one of the most dedicated and passionate people I know. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She always puts others before herself. She volunteers at every school event and program, chaperones trips, lends materials, and mentors teachers. Her students are truly blessed. I hope one day my children are lucky enough to be one of her “sweethearts”

Alec Herman Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Marschke was and is definitely the most caring, loving, and inspiring teacher anyone could ask for. Being part of her class in the past, from what I can recall, she made learning fun and exciting. I don’t know any other teachers that would treat her students to the “sweetheart store” and getting fun prizes at the end of the week. She definitely deserves this award for influencing positivity in the love that she has for teaching.

Denise schepps Posted over a year ago

Three of my four children had the pleasure of being in a reading class or one of Mrs Marschke classes . We lived across the street from the elementary school and every year people would be excited to see who got her class ! My high school and college students still have very fond memories of how much they loved with Mrs.Marshkey

rachael allen Posted over a year ago

Ms Marschke calls her class the ’sweethearts’, this means so much more than giving her class a cute name. Ms Marschke teaches her students how to behave like sweethearts; respecting themselves and others as well as being thoughtful and caring. She does this at the same times as creating an creative and academic learning environment. Ms Marschke is an absolute sweetheart herself!

Analisa Posted over a year ago

My son loves reading because of his teacher Ms. Marschke. He dreaded reading until her class. 3 years later and he still gives her the credit she deserves. She cares about the students and developing their skills. We are so grateful.

Angela Brent-Harris Posted over a year ago

Dina Marschke is a kind, lovable, selfless, and caring teacher, friend, mother, wife, and colleague. She wants to make everyone in the world happy. She loves our school and is very dedicated and loyal in every way. For over a decade, Dina chaperones with the safety patrols to Washington DC, as well as to Saint Augustine with the 4th graders. She is ALWAYS at every parent after school events at our school, so enthusiastic with a smile on her face. She is an ambassador for the Kindness Matters program at our school and also an advocate for so many students at all grade levels at our school. Students adore and admire her. They look up to her not only as a teacher, but a warm and nurturing soul. Dina also mentors other teachers too, and she is committed to excellence, and is passionate about what she does. She is well loved and adored in the community.Dina has been changing lives for decades, and she loves it. It brings her joy, and it shows.Love her!

Andi Kodsi Posted over a year ago

Ms. Marschke was all three of my boys’ teacher. She is loving, warm, nurturing, and nothing short of amazing. She came to my house for all three to read them bed time stories. She always went above and beyond. Ms. Marschke is really one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. I can’t say enough about her. I love and adore her and I am forever grateful to have had the honor of her acquaintance. The Queen of Sweethearts!

Anna Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Marschke is the best educator I have ever met! I was incredibly blessed to have her as my mentor in the classroom (and also in life) and I have learned so much from her. She is kind, hard working, and incredibly passionate. She’s definitely changed my life and I am so grateful for her.

Caroline Kuehn Posted over a year ago

I do not even know where to begin. She has been amazing friend for over 15 years. She embodies kindness, compassion, loyalty, and love. Dina has changed my life for the better and always shows me the way when I am lost. She is there for me no matter how bad things get and beside me during the good times. Her passion and dedication to the children she teaches is also genuine. I cannot think of a soul more deserving of being recognized for all of this and more. A child who has her for a teacher is one lucky kid!

Joe Herman Posted over a year ago

The best teacher in the world! Luckily for us, our two sons were able to be in her class. Today one is at a university studying public health and the other is getting ready to start college Mrs Marschke gave them both an amazing foundation for education and taught them to be caring wonderful young men

Sabrina Raciti Posted over a year ago

Dina is an amazing person in every way...educator, friend, and all around wonderful person. Her students adore her and she forms lifelong relationships with them and their families. We all love Mrs. Marschke??

Christine Maurer Posted over a year ago

Dina amazes me year after year with her commitment, generosity, and love for each Sweetheart that walks through her classroom door as well as those who just cross her path. She is loved by not only all of her students (past and present) but also the thankful parents who are lucky enough to have their children spend their school year under her tutelage. So happy that she is being recognized for her continued kindness and impact to our community and future leaders.

Nancy Torelli Posted over a year ago

What can you say about this remarkable educator that hasn’t been said. She is loving, caring, out of the box thinking, and an all around incredible teacher who always thinks of her students first. I am a 5th grade teacher in the same school as Dina. When I get any of her former students they are still singing her praises. That is a testament to the bonds she cultivates with children. I am lucky as an educator to work with the wonderful woman.

Melanie Kramer Posted over a year ago

Congratulations to Dina Marschke. This nomination is beyond well-deserved, and frankly, I cannot believe it has not happen sooner. I don't even know where to begin when it comes to talking about all the awesome that is Dina Marschke. Not only is she a phenomenal, hard-working, enthusiastic, optimistic, loving, and BRILLIANT educator for every student present and past, but she is this way toward her co-workers, administrators, and friends as well. Dina was my mentor when I moved to Boca Raton and got the job at Sunrise park, and to this day, I know I can go to her for anything and everything, and she will drop whatever she is doing to help me. With a smile. Her love for her "Sweethearts" is honest and true and ever-lasting and not a day goes by that you don't see one of her former students from any given grade run up to her and give her a genuine, deep-love hug. She is also extremely humble and does not do anything for attention or to purposely stand out above anyone. She does it because it is who she is and because she truly LOVES children and loves being a teacher.

Heidi Popkin Posted over a year ago

Dina is an incredible teacher and person. She gives her heart to all those around her without ever wanting in return. She is humble, kind and caring and the number 1 “Sweetheart.” I am lucky to have had Dina as my mentor my first year at Sunrise Park. She welcomed me with open arms and I am truly grateful.

Whitney Ridings Posted over a year ago

I have only known/worked with Mrs. Marschke for a few months, but I recognized her dedication to her students and our school right away! She is passionate about everything she does and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is a great role model for all teachers!

Alicia Steiger Posted over a year ago

I am fortunate enough to have this rockstar on my Sunrise Park team. Dina is a dedicated and super fun loving first grade teacher who makes every child feel so special to be one of Mrs. Marschke’s sweethearts. She is a leader both in and out of the classroom. Dina is one of the first ones in the building each day and often one of the last to leave because she is connected to some of our after school programs such as Samaritans 365, Teen Math tutors, and Club Discovery. Dina doesn’t just love her kids but she is completely invested in our Sunrise Park community. She’s at every event with a big smile to welcome current and previous students. I feel incredibly blessed to have Dina as part of our Sunrise Park family. Dina is definitely worthy of this prestigious nomination.

Alan Goldstein Posted over a year ago

I knew the day she walked into my office over 20 years ago to interview that she was special. Every child whose life she has touched has been benefitted by the best. Love her soo much as an educator and friend

Jennifer Baamonde Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Marschke is an incredible teacher. She is caring, kind, passionate and teaches the kids so much more than what’s in the books to help her sweethearts become better people. My daughter loved being in her class and thrived as a student (especially her reading and writing) and learned the importance of giving back and kindness. Plus she throws some amazing parties

Rachel spoto Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Marschke is an amazing teacher. My daughter absolutely loves going to school and being in her class. She won’t even let me dismiss her early from school because she doesn’t want to miss a second with her. The creativity in how she teaches her students is unbelievable! Everyday my daughter has something new to tell me about and it’s always something special. The fact that she’s a loving teacher, kind and passionate about what she does is more apparent everyday my daughter is in her class. Mrs. Marschke is a true life changer. I’m beyond happy my daughter gets to learn from her this year!

Natalie West Posted over a year ago

Dina is an incredible teacher and mentor to all of her students. She puts her heart into everything she does. No task is too small as she constantly helps and supports student learning and encourages all to exceed their potential. She is additionally involved in a local charity each year and acts as a leader in the Kindness matters program, educating and promoting the importance of Kindness in schools and society. This is an invaluable program and her involvement showcases her abilities as a dedicated and selfless leader. It has been a privilege for myself and so many others to work with her. She embodies the ethos of what it means to be not just a great teacher, but a model teacher.

Nichelle Tran Posted over a year ago

Dina is an outstanding teacher. My daughter LOVED being in her class and being her "sweetheart". Her favorite parts of 1st grade were going to the local Helping Hands, donating money, and seeing how the program runs; and also having a storybook night in her pajamas with her teacher. My youngest can't wait to be in 1st grade- and she's really hoping she can have Mrs. Marschke too!! Dina is truly a Life Changer!

Kari Posted over a year ago

Dina is an amazing teacher who constantly helps those around her. She does this with grace & a smile, never making you feel like you’re bothering her. When I was new to the school she was very approachable and I knew that she was someone I could lean on & go to for help, guidance & support. For that I am grateful. Her “Sweethearts” in her room are truly blessed to have her as their teacher as am I for getting the chance to work with her. ??

Rachel Locker Posted over a year ago

I have worked with Dina for 18 years at Sunrise Park Elementary. Dina’s love for teaching is apparent to anyone that steps foot in her classroom. She promotes a real love for learning, and encourages her students to go above and beyond. Dina truly cares about each and every one of her students. My daughter was one of her sweethearts, and I knew without a doubt that she would be prepared for second grade and received everything she needed in Dina’s class to be successful in the following years. Dina is truly a life changer and I am so fortunate to call her my friend. XOXO

Karen Dennis Posted over a year ago

Dina is a rockstar as a teacher. She gives not only 100% but more importantly.... she gives her heart! She loves her students and their families. Dina is also all about supporting other teachers. She is always willing to share materials and ideas!

Dena Posted over a year ago

Dina is an inspiration as a teacher, leader and friend. She has been my closest friend for 20 years and lives her life with full on passion. She loves her students, friends and family unconditionally! We love you, Dina x2