SOUTH SIOUX CITY | A teacher who has spent her entire instructional career at Cardinal Elementary School in South Sioux City is the 2018 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.
Michelle Helt, a third grade teacher, was presented the award this week in a surprise ceremony at the school. Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matt Blomstedt presented the award to Helt, who was one of three finalists for the award.
Helt wrote in her Teacher of the Year application that teaching and learning are synonymous and she is grateful to learn something new every day.
“My commitment to the profession of teaching has never wavered. I have always known teaching to be my calling and passion in life," Helt wrote in the application.
“I feel my greatest accomplishment in education is consistently creating a positive, encouraging learning environment that allows all students to be successful and active participants in their education. Two important factors in helping students reach their potential is helping students understand the 'why' behind every standard and student involvement.”
Helt began in 2002 as a resource and reading teacher at both Cardinal Elementary and St. Michael’s Catholic School. She has taught third grade since 2004 and Helt is also on the school improvement team, the South Sioux City Professional Development Committee and a founding member of the South Sioux City District Curriculum Council.
Helt has degrees from Buena Vista University and Wayne State College. She will participate in the National Teacher of the Year competition later this year.