Terri Linhoff-Balk, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, received the January Excellence in Education Award at the Jan. 23, 2017, Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to Terri on this prestigious recognition!
Terri has worked for the Ladue School District since August of 2000, when she took her position at the LECC.
Part of the Special School District’s vision and mission is the Commitment to Excellence, which includes nine core belief statements. One of those is: ‘We believe that what we do is more than just a job.’ Terri exemplifies this belief every day in her work with students and their families. She goes beyond what is expected to strive to make learning as fun and meaningful for her students as she possibly can. Through her efforts, she creates learning experiences that many of her students would not have the opportunity to experience outside of school. A few of these include the circus, the princess ball and the Thanksgiving feast.
Terri is also generous with her time, resources and talents to support children who are Deaf and their families. As some of Terri’s colleagues have said, “Terri makes all of us more aware and inclusive of people who are deaf by advocating for their needs within our school community.”
And her work doesn’t end at the classroom threshold. Terri teaches sign language classes to parents on her own time to help parents learn how to communicate more effectively with their children, and she adapts books, games and videos to send with the students to help parents support language development at home.
“In addition to her tireless commitment to her students and families, Terri is a caring and generous colleague who would do anything to support our LECC community, and she more than deserves this recognition,” LECC Director Kerri Wetzel said.
Terri is originally from St. Louis County and now lives in St. Peters with her husband, Howard Balk. She and Howard have been married for six years, but have known each other for 18 years.
Terri received her undergraduate degree in Deaf Education/Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. This is Terri’s 37th year teaching.