Recipient: Maxine Stuhler
Number of years teaching: 27
School: Temple Sinai Nursery
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
She loves that students come to her as a blank book and is inspired to write meaningful things on the first pages of those books. She does not teach academics but kindness and love for fellow man—she believes that all else in life is built on this.
Maxine’s program revolves around Judaism as she says, “Everything starts from God.” She seeks to teach the children about God in concrete ways. She feels success when she sees them sharing, being kind, taking care of each other, helping others and being inclusive.
Maxine credits many people for making her who she is. Number one on that list is her husband who is a “spectacular person”.
Maxine’s nomination came from a parent of one of her students. Caroline wrote:
Maxine Stuhler is without a doubt, the most passionate, committed and resourceful teacher I have ever met. When our son Daniel entered Maxine’s class this past September, he was nonverbal. He has a speech production disorder. As a result of his inability to speak, it was difficult for Daniel to socialize and play with his peers. My husband and I were most concerned about how his disability would impact his self-esteem and social development. Our worries quickly diminished when Maxine came into our lives.
Maxine goes above and beyond the call of duty on so many levels. She started a daily communication book. She welcomed his speech therapist into the class and not only implemented every strategy but she was so innovative that she came up with her own ideas. For example she created a class photo book in which she put all of his classmate’s pictures. This made it possible for Daniel to communicate whom he had played with at school or whom he wanted to invite over for a play date. In essence Maxine has created a classroom environment in which Daniel feels free to take risks, because she not only celebrates his every success, but his every effort and attempt.
Daniel is not the same child today that he was in September. Under her wing, he has matured and flourished. Maxine is an exceptional teacher with a heart of gold.