Sycamore Community Schools is proud to announce Symmes Elementary School teacher Steve Reinke as the district’s 2015-2016 Celebrate Excellence Educator of the Year.
“Mr. Reinke exemplifies what it means to put students first and to set and hold students to high expectations through all that he does,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “He truly depicts excellence.”
Reinke will be honored during the Hamilton County Education Foundation’s 10th Annual Celebrate Excellence Breakfast on May 13 at the Sharonville Convention Center. He will also be recognized at the April 20 Board of Education meeting. He was selected out of 40 nominees submitted by parents, students, and colleagues.
Reinke has been with Sycamore Schools for 11 years. He first arrived at the district to teach third grade at Maple Dale Elementary. Reinke served as Curriculum Facilitator from 2000-2002, working on curriculum alignment and professional development in all the elementary schools. He returned to the classroom in 2002 at Symmes Elementary, where he currently teaches second grade.
“Mr. Reinke is very passionate about teaching and it is very obvious in all that he does,” said Rebekah Erck, whose son in currently in Reinke’s class. “He has a way of bringing out the best in all of his students. He asks them to give their all in a way that is encouraging and kind. The students don’t want to disappoint him.”
In 2009, Reinke and a committee of dedicated teachers and parents began to work diligently on restoration of the Nature Trail at Symmes, a 10-acre land lab located on the property behind the school. Used by the district for environmental education, the trail provides a unique “hand-on” learning resource for the Sycamore Community Schools. The trail is the site of the most recent “Magical Moon Jamboree” for all Kindergarten families in the district.
In 2014, Steve worked with Sycamore Eagle Scouts to develop a reading garden and butterfly garden at Symmes, and connected the school as an official “way station” for Project Monarch Watch. Under Steve’s leadership, students tag Monarch butterflies and track their migration patterns using a national computer database.
Steve is a Science Subject Leader and has installed a Science Lab at Symmes Elementary that is used by teachers at the school for STEM activities. He was a primary writer and trainer for the statewide science teaching initiative, SOSI. Additionally, he has developed a partnership with The Cincinnati Nature Center, bringing additional resources to the district to support environmental education.
“His commitment to the students and the school are unmatched,” said Todd Burgess, parent of student. “He is interested in each student, how they learn, and getting them to reach their potential every day.”
Reinke received his Master’s degree in education from Duquesne University in 1990. He spent five years teaching at Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Surrey, England before arriving at Sycamore.
Reinke and his wife Ann Marie, Maple Dale Assistant Principal, are the proud parents of Caroline, a kindergartener at Symmes Elementary. They live in Montgomery.