Two SSD Teachers in Affton Named School Teacher of the Year
March 22, 2021 – SSD’s partnership is alive and well in the Affton School District as two SSD teachers who teach in Affton were named their respective school’s teacher of the year. Nicole Aronoff, who teaches at Gotsch Intermediate School, and Kathleen Hollenberg, from Rogers Middle School, each learned of their honor by being surprised in their classroom by staff and administrators from Affton and SSD. Both teachers have excelled during the challenges of teaching during a pandemic, helping their students succeed in more uncertain times than usual.
Aronoff said the honor was extra special for her, having attended and graduated from Affton. Now in her fifth year as a teacher, she focuses on the whole child in her self-contained classroom. “We try to celebrate their abilities no matter what they are,” she said. “Really focus on making school a comfortable and safe environment to learn and fail and grow.”
Katie Meers, SSD director and area coordinator in Affton, emphasized Aronoff’s ability to meet students where they are as well as being flexible throughout the challenging school year. “She has remained positive throughout multiple changes and led colleagues and paraprofessionals to develop clear, innovative plans.”
Meers said Hollenberg earned the honor in part for the connections she’s built over time. “She develops positive relationships with students and their families to extend the learning inside of school to their lives at home.”
“These students mean the world to me and they know I would have their back any time they need me,” Hollenberg said. “Knowing that people respect the work we are doing in my room and throughout the building makes me feel great about my job and makes my job a little easier.”
Both teachers will compete for the Affton districtwide teacher of the year honor.
Pictured below are Aronoff (middle left) and Hollenberg (middle right).