6th Grade Center – Lynnelle Winter, Language Arts
Language Arts teacher Lynnelle Winter has been named the Union 6th Grade Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020.
Winter said she can remember going to a new school in first grade and not being able to read.
“The teacher and principal wanted to hold me back, but my mom wouldn’t let them. Instead she and I would work every evening on reading. I can still remember sitting at the table struggling to read the words,” Winter said. “Once I learned how to read, it opened up a whole new world for me. I went from a struggling reader to a voracious reader in two school years.
“Now as a sixth grade teacher, I love that I am here to help students navigate from elementary to their new stage in the journey of education-secondary. Middle school is hard for a variety of reasons. Students all need to feel loved and supported. This is why I teach this age group. Adolescence is a hard time period, I know many of us would not want to relive those years. But, maybe, my sixth grade Cornell Students can have a positive first experience with their secondary education. I want their years ‘in the middle’ to be ones filled with positivity, acceptance, and love.”
Winter said her favorite subject to teach is writing.
“I write alongside my students, so the mini-lessons I am asking them to complete I have also completed the activity or lesson,” she said. “I discuss my struggles as a writer also. It helps them realize teachers are human also and we might have areas we struggle in too.
Teaching sixth graders how to appropriately use their voice is empowering. When they realize their words have the power to change procedures, someone’s thinking, or mind. It’s one of the greatest roles of my job...to observe students taking risks with their thoughts or writing or voice. And then to see the impact in students of their self- realization is so very important. It’s such an honor to witness it.”
Winter started teaching in August 2013. “(Then Principal) Alycia Pennington hired me to be the special education teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade at Boevers. It was a big job. Alycia helped me bring my special education background as mom-advocate and turn it into teaching parents how to be advocates for their child and teaching students how to speak up for their rights in the classroom. Five years later when I wanted to switch to middle school, Mr. Pennington interviewed me and invited me to teach with team Cornell. U67 is my home and I have the same shared philosophy that we must build relationships with students and families in order to gain their trust, so we can all accomplish the same goal of getting their student college or career ready.”
• Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
• Masters of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
• Graduated from Southern Nazarene University
• National Board Certified Teacher ELA