A teacher who is considered a trendsetter in education and classroom rehabbing received the March 2014 Excellence in Education Award. Michelle Bokermann of Special School District has been a speech language pathologist at Reed Elementary School since receiving her graduate degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 2002.
Reed Elementary School Principal Dr. Chris Schreiner said, “Some people are detail-oriented and some people are ‘outside the box’ thinkers. Michelle happens to be both.”
Dr. Schreiner believes Michelle’s skills are a perfect fit to generate creative ideas, and then list the specific tasks required to make the idea into reality. Although some children may call her lessons “games,” those same students can articulate the purpose of the activities and objectives to learning.
The “activities” Michelle masterminds are not limited to the students. She takes the lead on many morale boosters and team builders. Michelle organizes engaging games for the staff lounge and she annually decorates the cars of each new Reed staff member on their first day.
Michelle also serves as the resident interior designer. She has a special talent of “upcycling” seemingly unusable furniture and flipping spaces so they are functional and stylish. The sky is the limit when it comes to her imagination. Chalkboard painted walls, dry erase boards on rolling tracks, and ceiling lights transformed to look like skylights are the norm in her classroom.
A native St. Louisan,Michelle graduated from Truman State University in 2000.