Position: History/Social Studies Teacher
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School: Stephen Decatur High School
School District: Worcester County Public Schools
City, State: Berlin, MD
Laurie Chetelat was nominated by her principal, Thomas Zimmer.
Laurie Chetelat is a social studies teacher by trade, but she also leads a community service organization at Stephen Decatur High School called Connections. Through her Connections group, Mrs. Chetelat has given hundreds of students the opportunity to volunteer their time helping others in the community. A few of their activities include:
- Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim
- Dances and Prom at the Holly Center
- Concession Stand at SDHS athletic events
- Adopt a Beach through the OC Surf Club
- Tutoring younger students
- Christmas Tree sales for the Rotary Club
- Race for the Cure
- Volunteer Coaching for local youth groups.
Mrs. Chetelat's Connections group has been honored with many awards, such as the Points of Light Award, Most Beautiful People Award, Light the Night Top Fundraiser; Best Youth Organization in Worcester County; and Presidential Service Awards.
What sets Mrs. Chetelat apart is her drive and commitment to help others. More importantly, she teaches the students the importance of giving back.
"Our students love Mrs. Chetelat and are willing to follow her in any project she thinks they should be involved in," Zimmer said. "Mrs. Chetelat is a model for all of us to follow. She puts the community above herself and is an outstanding human being!"
Laurie Chetelat in the News:
Three vie for LifeChanger of Year
Laurie is truly dedicated to each and every one of her students. She connects students with volunteering opportunities throughout Worcester County. These students learn valuable life lessons when they give of their time and talents to serve local residents. Thank you for being "The Connector" to Stephen Decatur students!
Ms Chetelat is amazing! I have called her for 'help' with several non profits that I work with. She always has the nicest and most helpful students show up.
She has my vote and accolades from my children!
What an incredible honor. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. And I can't even imagine time and efforts.
Ms. Chetelat is amazing. She is always there for her students, challenging them to be, like her, life changers in their own right. I am so lucky my daughters had her as an influence in their lives...and she is an amazing teacher as well. What a combination!
As one of her students, I know she is definitely a life-changer! We love you, Mrs. Chetelat!!!
Laurie is the epitomy of civic leader, mentor, teacher and friend. Both of my sons had the pleasure to sit in her AP US History class (APUSH) and serve the community through her Connections Club. Both excelled in the class and both earned Presidential Service Awards all years of high school thanks to her involvement and dedication to all of our kids. Both were honored to be given college recommendation letters from her (which by the way are incredibly composed with great time and thought) and both are succeeding and excelling in their respective colleges thanks in no small part to the committment Laurie has to not only my boys but all of her students day in and day out. She is often caught on the beach in the summer, on her own free time, preparing lessons, reviewing work, composing letters and getting ready for the upcoming school year. As a parent who served in the high school and was in and out of the building many times a day, Laurie could always be found talking with students, working at her desk or supporting students outside the classroom at sporting events. She is a true driven spirit who deserves this award!!
Mrs. Chetelat inspires. I was a volunteer with her for 4 years, a student in her AP US History class, and a Presidentail Service Award Speaker in 2015. When I was a freshman in high school, I knew I wanted to volunteer more than the minimum requirement for high school graduation. We began working with her to find opportunities throughout the community. At that time, I was not her student, but that doesn't matter. Mrs. Chetelat wants every student to gain the benefits of volunteering. She wants students to find their passions and change the community. Though her students are 15-18 years old, she treats them as equals. She provides opportunities to lead service projects so students can build their leadership capabilities. Mrs. Chetelat has worked on projects and has formally taught my 2 sisters and I. The three of us are truly honored to have had the experience to learn from her in various capacities. Mrs. Chetelat motivates students to embody volunteerism throughout their life. That is life changing. Thank you for everything Mrs. Chetelat.
As a former student and co founder of connections I have worked closely with Mrs. Chetelat since my freshman year. I would do anything in my power to help her due to her passion for her Job and her passion for her students. She’s a great person who a student could approach with any issue whether with school or personal. I still have a personal connection with Her 13 years after I graduated and to see the success of connections since we helped start it in the early 2000’s is just one example of her continued success and dedication to her community both in and out of the classroom.
No one more deserving than Mrs. Chetelat for this award!
I met Mrs Chetelat when she was my sons teacher many many years ago. She connected so well with my boys and all the students she taught. Many years have passed and many of her former students keep in touch with her. She’s always been a role model to many and gives of herself 100% all the time. She’s a good friend and follow colleague She has my vote!
Not readily evident from the long list of Laure Chetelat's many contributions to our community and especially our youth is the most important one of all. Namely: Laurie Chetelat- teacher. That descriptor alone speaks volumes about who she is and what she does each and every day. She has a selfless dedication to the cause of enlightenment for everyone she meets, and even those that she never gets to meet. It's high time we all gave her our deepest, heartfelt, and sincere thanks for all she does and continues to do. Attagirl Laurie!!! You've more than earned every accolade we can offer!