Chilton one of four Lakin Outstanding Teachers

The Red Oak Community School District has another Lakin Oustanding Teacher as part of its staff.
On May 12, the Charles E. Lakin Foundation awarded Inman Elementary third grade teacher Kristina Chilton a $10,000 Charles E. Lakin Outstanding Teacher Award during a ceremony that included superintendent Ron Lorenz, Inman principal Jane Chaillie, and all the students and teachers at Inman Elementary. In addition to Chilton’s $10,000, Green said the school will also be given an additional $2,500. Chilton is the third teacher in the Red Oak District to receive the award.
This year, the foundation received 220 nominations, and a total of 14 teachers were nominated from the Red Oak School District. Chilton has  been with the Red Oak District for eight years. Chilton said she was caught off guard by the entire ceremony and had no idea what was coming.
“I thought we were just having a normal assembly, I didn’t even know there was going to be a Lakin ceremony. I really was surprised,” Chilton said.
Chilton said it was an amazing honor to be one of the more than 200 teachers nominated for a Lakin award.
“I’m speechless. I know I work hard and I love my job, and my students, and Red Oak. It’s nice to see that people can see the hard work that goes into this profession. I wasn’t expecting it, and there are a ton of great teachers in this district, and across the state of Iowa. To just be among those nominations, let alone win, was really cool,” stated Chilton.
In addition to being able to share in the victory with the students and staff, Chilton’s family was also present for the ceremony. Chilton said that meant the world to her.
“My family is definitely my world. To have them here to share in this moment with me makes it perfect,” Chilton said.
Chilton expressed her appreciation to her family for being so supportive, as well as her current and former students, the families she works with, her church family, the community, and the Red Oak District.
“I love this district; we work well together. I’m blessed with the best people, the best place, the best everything. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” stated Chilton.
Chilton plans on using the $10,000 prize for a vacation. As for the $2,500, Chilton said she hopes that the money will be used for something that everyone will be able to enjoy.
Jennifer Green, representing the Charles E. Lakin Foundation, said Lakin created the Outstanding Teacher Award as a reward for all the teachers who helped him as a child.
“Lakin had many terrific teachers who taught him all the things he needed to know, and he was able to grow up and make a lot of good business decisions, and make a lot of money,” said Green. “Lakin decided later in life that he wanted to reward outstanding teachers like the ones who helped him get to where he was.”
Chilton was nominated for the award by State Sen. Mark Costello who was the prior representative for Montgomery County until redistricting. Costello said when he found out that he was able to nominate a teacher for the Lakin award, he immediately thought of Chilton.
“She’s a teacher that is outstanding, makes times for the kids, and maintains discipline while having a good time. She takes creative ideas and makes it fun for the kids to learn, and gets them engaged in learning. It takes a lot of time and effort, and she does a lot of good things to make the classroom special for the kids,” Costello commented.
Chaille also congratulated Chilton for receiving the award, and said Chilton makes a great effort to promote teamwork.
“Miss Chilton is one of the best team members that we have. She always gives everything she’s got to her students and to our entire school. She has integrity and does an excellent job in pushing all of her students to do the very best. Those that are in her classroom before, those in her class now, and those that will have her as a teacher in the future. She sets high goals.
Chaillie also praised Chilton’s empathy, and responsibility, saying Chilton took her job of being a teacher as the biggest responsibility she could ever have.
Superintendent Ron Lorenz said he was over the moon when he heard of Chilton’s nomination, not only because a Red Oak teacher was being recognized, but because Chilton was one of the district’s best and brightest.
“I could talk all day about Mrs. Chilton. She’s a particularly gifted teacher, but more importantly, she’s extremely caring. She’s quick to smile, quick to affirm kids and collegues, and is consistently positive, professional, and passionate. She is kind to everyone she sees and she lights up a room,” said Lorenz. “One of the things I appreciate most about Mrs. Chilton is that she’s able to see the big picture, but she never loses sight of the individual students she serves, or the colleagues she serves with. She represents what is best in public education. I appreciate Mrs. Chilton for the work she does with the kids, and the fact that she inspires them.”
The Charles E. Lakin Outstanding Teacher Award is given annually to four outstanding southwest Iowa public school teachers from non-urban schools within a 40-mile radius of the late philanthropist Charles Lakin’s hometown of Emerson.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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