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2017 Sycamore Celebrate Excellence Educator of the Year

Joy Nichols sits with preschool class  
Sycamore Community Schools is proud to announce Maple Dale Elementary School teacher Joy Nichols as the district’s 2016-2017 Celebrate Excellence Educator of the Year.
“Joy Nichols exemplifies the essence of a great teacher,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “She truly cares for the whole child, personalizing the learning experience for each individual student and going above and beyond so that they can reach their potential.”
"Miss Joy" as she is known to her students, will be honored during the Hamilton County Education Foundation’s 11th Annual Celebrate Excellence Breakfast on May 12 at the Sharonville Convention Center. She was selected out of nearly 40 nominees submitted by parents, students, and colleagues.
Nichols joined the Sycamore Family in 1996 as a special education teacher, teaching at Symmes Elementary for three years. She returned to Sycamore in 2009, working with special needs students at Blue Ash Elementary. In 2016, she moved to Maple Dale Elementary where she teaches in our inclusive preschool program.
Kasey Johansen was one of several parents who nominated Miss Joy. She shared how Miss Joy took the time to come to their home on more than one occasion to help create goals for her son, involving the entire family in the process.  
"Joy Nichols is the shining example of a thoughtful, knowledgeable, patient, involved, and caring teacher and person," said Johansen,  "She is always striving to be better, to make others better, and to help whenever and however she can."
Denise Somsak’s son had Miss Joy as a teacher for four years at Blue Ash Elementary. She shared how Miss Joy pushed her son to read and nurtured his love for music. Somsak said Miss Joy didn’t just engage her son, but his other teachers and therapists, even helping Somsak to realize her son’s potential.  
Joy Nichols with administrators
"Joy engages students who at first glance may seem to have little chance of progress," said Somsak. "The achievement of her students may not be noteworthy or measurable in the traditional sense but she makes a significant positive impact on the lives of her students."

Watch video of her preschoolers’ reaction to learning Joy had been named Educator of the Year.