Perkiomen Valley School District Communications Director Jessica Lester submitted the following information:
teacher Michele Beddis was named the grand-prize winner at the elementary level of the “Voices of Inspiration for Teaching Excellence,” an award ceremony that was held May 9 and sponsored by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and Freedom Credit Union.
Twenty-three finalists – one from each Montgomery County public school districts, one from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and one from a Montgomery County non-public school – were honored at the ceremony. From this pool of 23 finalists, one high school, one middle school and one elementary school teacher were awarded with the Voices of Inspiration Award grand prize and $500.
Mrs. Beddis, who teaches fourth grade, was nominated by numerous parents and students who admire her for many different reasons. Adults cited Mrs. Beddis’ ability to engage students with thoughtfully designed classroom activities that help children apply what they are learning to the world around them. Also mentioned frequently among the nomination forms was the fact that Mrs. Beddis continually finds ways to interact with her students outside the classroom, whether it is through her attendance at various after-school events or the after-school sports program she runs with her husband for children in grades 3-5.
Introducing students to community service was another reason that parents listed Mrs. Beddis as an inspiration, noting her organization of a pajama drive to collect PJs for children who live in group homes, shelters, and orphanages. This year, the class collected more than 526 pairs.
Students also have high praise for Mrs. Beddis. One child who submitted a nomination on her behalf stated: “She is encouraging towards every student in her class by helping them with questions and making them confident. It is easy to learn with her.”
Mrs. Beddis said she has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback. A teacher for seven years, Mrs. Beddis said education runs in her family, as both her mother and aunt were educators.
“I truly feel I was meant to teach. Each morning I wake up knowing this is what I was meant to do, and I’m continually thankful that I have the greatest, noblest job in the world. My children may not remember what I taught them 20 years from now, but they will remember how I treated them and that I loved and respected them every day,” she said.