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Teacher of Gifted Students to Receive Special Gift at UC Ceremony

Whitaker Elementary School teacher Gail Seifert will be honored with UC’s Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Award at the Dec. 10 Commencement Ceremony.

Date: 11/29/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot   “I remember a first-grade teacher coming up to me and saying, ‘You really need to work with this student,’” recalls Whitaker Elementary School teacher Gail Seifert. That’s when she took Sarah Grogan into Whitaker Elementary’s gifted student program and guided the academically talented student through the sixth grade.
Gail Seifert, left, and Sarah Grogan
Gail Seifert, left, and Sarah Grogan

Seifert, a 34-year veteran of teaching (including 25 years of working with gifted students), is one of four educators from around the Tristate who will be honored with the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Award. The awards will be presented at UC’s Commencement Ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

The Mount Adams resident will be presented with a $1,000 UC scholarship to be awarded to a high school senior of her choosing who plans to attend UC in the 2012-2013 academic year.

She was selected from 23 nominations by soon-to-graduate UC students who wanted to honor a K-12 educator who inspired them on their pathway to a college degree. The nominations were reviewed by a UC committee that included representation from the Office of the President, UC faculty, staff and students.

Sarah Grogan
Sarah Grogan will graduate from UC in June.

Her nominator, Sarah Grogan, is now a full-scholarship recipient at UC, including support from UC’s Cincinnatus Excellence Scholarship Program that is designed to grow the number of UC’s National Merit Scholars. Nationally, these students represent the top 1 percent of all high school graduates. The music education major from Finneytown will be graduating from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in June. She’ll be presenting the award to Seifert at the December Commencement Ceremony.

“Mrs. Seifert was the first teacher who made me do more than the minimum amount of work I needed to do to get by,” Grogan says. “Because of her high standards, the gifted class forced me to achieve my full potential as a student.

“She also emphasized that there was no such thing as failure. If something didn’t work, the gifted class just kept on going. My experience in Mrs. Seifert’s class had such an impact on me that I decided early on to become a teacher,” says Grogan.

Seifert recalls Grogan as a knowledgeable student who liked to work at rapid speed. Seifert says she dedicated her career to gifted education and to students like Grogan because she was “fascinated with their way of thinking, and I wanted to challenge them in a classroom.”

Gail Seifert
Gail Seifert

She adds that she was ‘absolutely flabbergasted” when she was notified by her school administrators about the award and about the high praise from her former student. “I was so touched by this recognition. I’m truly honored!”

This December marks the seventh year that UC has presented the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Awards to recognize the lifelong inspiration of K-12 educators.

Read More about the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Awards

UC Commencement website