May 10, 2023
Goddard Systems, LLC, Honors Exceptional Early Childhood Educators
Annual Teacher of the Year Awards recognizes 16 teachers for their dedication to students
Goddard Systems, LLC, (GSL), the franchisor of The Goddard School®, the nation’s leading premium early childhood education provider, is honored to recognize 16 teachers from across the country for their outstanding efforts and commitment to students this past year.
Now in its 17th year, The Goddard School Teacher of the Year Awards celebrates Goddard School educators who use their passion for teaching to encourage a sense of joy in the learning process. This year, teachers from across The Goddard School’s more than 600 locations were nominated by school owners, fellow teachers and families in four classroom categories (infant, toddler, preschool/pre-k and kindergarten/school-age) across four regions (northeast, southeast, central and west). Sixteen teachers, which includes one grand prize Teacher of the Year winner, were selected for their embodiment of competence, leadership, creativity and a nurturing demeanor.
“At the Goddard School, we are fortunate to have teachers committed to instilling a love of learning in their students in classrooms across the country,” said Dennis R. Maple, chairman and CEO, GSL. “It’s truly an honor to recognize and celebrate these award-winning teachers for their dedication to Goddard students and families. Because of their steadfast efforts, Goddard students will continue to flourish for years to come.”
16 Regional Winners
This year’s 16 winning Goddard teachers were selected from more than 3,100 nominations. All 16 regional winners created strong bonds between home and school and incorporated their own passions into their teaching while continuing to ensure the health and safety of their students. In addition to being named a 2023 Goddard School Teacher of the Year, GSL gifted each of the regional winners a $1,000 cash award and dedicated a custom set of Life Lesson Library books, Goddard’s exclusive social-emotional development program, to each school in the teacher’s name. Congratulations to the following teachers:
Northeast Region Winners:
- Crystal Bonham – Flemington, NJ, Infant Classroom
- Jean Patrick – Hillsborough, NJ, Toddler Classroom
- Heidi Cook – Marlboro (Morganville), NJ, Preschool/Pre-K Classroom
- Alex Frangoulis – Collegeville, PA, Kindergarten/School-Age Classroom
Southeast Region Winners:
- Jer’Terika Holmes – Cordova, TN, Infant Classroom
- Tracee Grimstead – Raleigh (5401 North), NC, Toddler Classroom
- Baochau Le – Midlothian (Woodlake), VA, Pre-School/Pre-K Classroom
- Kate Ervin – Gainesville, VA, Kindergarten/School-Age Classroom
Central Region Winners:
- Katelyn Jewett – Bentonville, AR, Infant Classroom
- Kelly Barrett – Skokie, IL, Toddler Classroom
- Kierra Whitfield – Chicago (South Loop), IL, Pre-School/Pre-K Classroom
- Karen Altner – Elgin, IL, Kindergarten/School-Age Classroom
West Region Winners:
- Montserrat Hesketh Rolling – Lewisville, TX, Infant Classroom
- Norma Longabaugh – Frisco, TX, Toddler Classroom
- Olivia Hlade – Denver (Highlands), CO, Pre-School/Pre-K Classroom
- Gay Sulit – Carlsbad, CA, Kindergarten/School-Age Classroom
Grand Prize Winner
In addition to being a regional winner, The Goddard School of Collegeville, PA’s Alex Frangoulis was named The Goddard School Teacher of the Year Awards’ grand prize winner. Frangoulis has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students and families during his 5-year tenure at the school.
“I absolutely love coming to work every day to support the children at The Goddard School of Collegeville,” said Frangoulis. “I appreciate everyone in our school family who nominated me for this award. It was a lovely surprise and I am truly honored to be chosen among so many caring and hardworking early childhood educators.”
Several children who have graduated from his kindergarten program have returned years later to visit because their time with him made learning a fun and memorable experience. Frangoulis consistently breaks down concepts into relatable stories and activities that have practical application in a child’s everyday life. When teaching about different world cultures and communities, for example, he always invites families to share aspects of their respective cultures. As the grand prize winner, GSL honored Frangoulis with an additional $5,000 cash award.
“A child’s social and emotional development is just as crucial as their academic growth, and these teachers exemplify perfecting that partnership through early childhood education,” said Dr. Lauren Starnes, senior vice president and chief academic officer, GSL. “We are so appreciative of their commitment to fully preparing their students for the next steps in both their academic and life journeys. We can’t thank them enough for all that they do for their students and families.”
For more information about The Goddard School, The Goddard School Teacher of the Year Awards and this year’s winners, please visit GoddardSchool.com.