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Shawnee Early Childhood

School
9394 Sterling Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45241
513-779-3014
Theresa Brock
Principal
Kevin Thomas
Assistant Principal

Dear School Representative,

It is my honor to refer to you Amy Mirlisena for the position of elementary school
teacher. Amy spent one day a week combined with a two week full-time
submersion at Shawnee Early Childhood School in my first grade classroom during
her 2015 Miami University fall semester field experience. Our school receives Title
1 services, and Amy was exposed to a very diverse population of early childhood
students. She worked with twenty-four children, some receiving Title 1 reading,
reading support, and ESL services as well as a student receiving speech services
under an IEP.
From the moment she entered the door of my classroom, Amy was a true gift to me
as a teacher and to my students. She was never without a smile, an encouraging
word, and enthusiasm for teaching. My students were instantly comfortable with
her. She had a wonderful rapport with my students and understood how to excite
their learning. She spoke, read, and taught with engaging expression. Her
motivational lessons were age-appropriate and well-researched. She was
knowledgeable about the Core Standards and aligned her lessons appropriately with
these and our units of study. She was not afraid to attempt challenging herself and
the students to heighten learning in large group, small group, individual, partner,
center, and workshop settings. Her lessons were hands-on and well-explained.
After my OTES observation, for which Amy was present in the classroom, our
principal commented about how impressed she was with Amys rapport with
students and her questioning of students during conferencing. She was comfortable
implementing a wide variety of positive classroom management strategies and did
not hesitate to use these to create the best possible classroom learning experiences
for students. In addition to her talents as a teacher, Amy is a gifted singer. As a
response to a school-wide challenge by our counselor to find ways to enhance our
school culture, Amy worked with a Miami peer to videotape and share school-wide
our class performing the song Let It Go.

Amy was instantly drawn to a couple of my students in particular and went above
and beyond expectations by initiating one-on-one and small group activities to help
them in their areas of need. While maintaining professionalism and sensitivity, she
researched ways to help further engage them in their learning. One student had
recently moved to the US from China and spoke very little English as well as
struggled significantly with maintaining attention during lessons. Amy actively
engaged with this student, using a host of both verbal and nonverbal means of
interacting with him. She researched outside of our school day, including
contacting her sister who had an understanding of this students particular Chinese
dialect, and used this knowledge to help improve his classroom and social
experiences. To help with attention issues, she was keenly aware of the importance
of proximity to the student in order to keep him engaged and maximized his
learning by working with him individually when she saw the larger group setting was
not meeting his needs at that moment.
The other student Amy showed particular expertise with was a student who had a
difficult time with addition and subtraction fluency. Amy worked with this student
individually and in small groups to help her grasp and then become fluent with her
facts by counting on. They practiced often, and by the time Amys field
experience ended, this student was more than capable of successfully using the
strategy. By the end of the first grade year, this student was helping others whom
she had surpassed in fluency. What a great example of learning going full-circle!
Amy continued to impress outside of her required school-day hours. She was more
than willing to attend staff meetings, parent conferences, and assist with our staff
social, which included offering to bring decorations from home and set up and
decorate for our luncheon. Amy even came back at the end of the year for our
Reading and Writing Celebration with parents and then again to spend a half-day to
help lead Readers Theater performances. Amy was always very knowledgeable
about her Miami University lesson requirements and the timeline and due dates of
those requirements. She had a great rapport with her Miami peers and Shawnee
staff.
This recommendation letter for Amy Mirlisena comes to you from my utmost respect
for her, both personally and educationally, and I have no doubt she would become a
fabulous addition to any school lucky enough to have her. I do regret this letter
cannot be enhanced with glitter and neon lights in order to make it stand out and
truly exemplify Amys uniqueness and star quality as an educator!
Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or would like to
have further conversation regarding Amys qualifications.

Best regards,

Kate Wodzisz
First Grade Teacher
Shawnee Early Childhood School
Lakota School District
Katherine.wodzisz@lakotaonline.com
513-252-3355 (c)
513-779-3014 ext. 19702 (w)