Mrs. Cynthia Nicks, 3rd grade,  selected Site Teacher of the Year for Westside Elementary

Mrs. Cynthia Nicks, 3rd grade,  selected Site Teacher of the Year for Westside Elementary  

Cynthia Nicks was selected as the Site Teacher of the Year for Westside Elementary. 

Mrs. Nicks shared she has always desperately wanted to be a teacher and never wavered. As a student who struggled, she admits school did not come easy for her, and she worked hard to reach her goals. It’s those struggles that are the foundation of her teaching approach. “Being a struggling student helped me as an educator understand the need to be intentional with my purpose in the classroom,” she shared.   

It’s important to her to make sure or to meet every student's individual needs are met; pushing high achievers and ensuring no student falls through the cracks. Those moments when a student who is on the edge of learning a new skill and finally has that ah-ha moment, or when the RTI student is released after mastering a complicated concept after struggling, or an IEP student makes significant gains, are the moment she beams with pride. 

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. It is a teacher's job to find out where a student is, meet them there, and do whatever is necessary to achieve learning, personal growth, and ultimately help them find individual success.  Being a teacher is about being whatever that student needs you to be for the day, a mom, dad, counselor, nurse, or coach,” Nicks explained. 

“Teaching is about creating a safe, calm, and positive environment where students feel they belong, where they can learn and focus—giving them a place where mistakes are embraced as learning opportunities. Creating this place is crucial because our classrooms may be the only safe place our students have,” Nicks shared. She knows a teacher needs to be equipped with love, strength, compassion, and leadership to reinforce that she is there for her students, and she’s not going anywhere. 

As a PTO member, she is actively involved in service projects and fundraising to enrich the lives of Westside families.  Nicks's passion for kids does not stop at the Westside doors; she also volunteers as a CYFA cheer coach and a community basketball coach. 

Collaborating, advocating, mentoring, and serving are all part of her growth mindset. Nicks is not afraid to change, try new strategies, implement new procedures to teach the class as a whole, and be mindful about meeting the needs of each student.  Nicks closed with, “At the end of the day, it’s all about the students!”

Video credits:  Claremore Digital Video Editing Class / ZTV
Teacher:  Ms. Leah Johnson

Graphics credits:  Aubrey Henson, CHS Graphic Design student
Teacher:  Mrs. Cass Huddleston