The North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, Westfield Bank and Starbucks are saluting one teacher from each North Canton City School District each month this school year, and first in line is Gerilyn Shimek.
Shimek is a first grade teacher at Clearmount Elementary School, and she's been with the district for 14 years.
Below, Shimek shares what she loves most about teaching, who she finds inspiration in and what qualities make a good educator.
Name: Gerilyn Shimek
Town of residence: North Canton
Family: I am married and we have one daughter and two dogs
Education: BA in Management/Finance from Walsh College and my teaching degree from Akron University
North Canton Patch: How did you get into teaching? Did you always know you wanted to teach?
Gerilyn Shimek: My husband encouraged me to go back to school and get my degree in elementary education.
North Canton Patch: As an educator, you serve as a role model for a lot of these kids, and I wanted to ask who did you look up to growing up, or even now, who do you find inspiration in?
Shimek: My Aunt Dorothy, who was an elementary teacher for over 30 years at Fairhope Elementary.
North Canton Patch: What do you love most about teaching?
Shimek: The children. At the elementary level, every day is unique and presents different challenges that we overcome together.
North Canton Patch: Your funniest, most embarrassing or most memorable moment you’ve had teaching here?
Shimek: I really can't focus on one. I just feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such great teachers and support personnel at both Orchard Hill and Clearmount Elementary.
North Canton Patch: What qualities do you think make a good teacher?
Shimek: I have been blessed to work with dedicated educators at Orchard Hill Elementary and Clearmount Elementary schools. At Orchard Hill, Dr. Juersivich stressed that children might not remember some of the academic subjects that you taught them daily, yet the children will remember how you made them feel during each day at school.
My Orchard Hill team members Diane Ward and Jane Schultz exemplify this philosophy daily when working with our children together. Our team is now at Clearmount Elementary together and helping to benefit the children in our school. My inspiration comes from working with professional educators that truly care about children as a whole person because they are our future citizens.