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Adopt A Classroom 2023 winners

Levo awarded $500 each to 6 area teachers nominated by parents, students or community members as having made a huge impact on our kids.

Levo started the Adopt-A-Classroom Program in 2014. Since then, Levo has awarded more than $27,000 in classroom awards to area teachers.

“We’ve been in this community since 1934. As South Dakota’s oldest credit union, our community has made us what we are today,” says Jen McKeown with the Levo Cares Foundation. “And we believe in giving back to our community. What better way to do that than to recognize the teachers who lay the foundation of our future by shaping the young minds of our kids?”

Nominees were able to recognize a teacher by answering two questions:

  • What impact has this teacher made on your life?
  • How have they demonstrated a unique and creative teaching style?

“Levo received 73 nominations for educators from Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities, including Harrisburg, Brandon, Montrose, Marion and Lennox”, says McKeown. “The huge number of nominations is a testament to the high quality of educators we have in this area. Our teachers are amazing!” 

The 6 winners were presented with a $500 check for classroom expenses. We have provided a portion of their nomination to illustrate how awesome these teachers are:

Lindsey Irvine, Special Education, Washington High School, Sioux Falls
“Lindsey demonstrates the core values of integrity, passion, and commitment to her students during both the school year and summer programs. Her position as a RISE educator in special education allows her to express each value with her students. Moreover, Lindsey oversee the summer school program. Herein, she ensures students needing remedial support for class completion and often graduation. To date, every student in Lindsey’s care has successfully passed on to their next year in school or graduated. Lastly, Lindsey is the Junior Varsity Coach for women’s volleyball. She uses her time and talents to foster female student athletes with courage, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Because of her support and coaching, the WHS lady warriors have made state every year she has coached, often achieving in the championship game.” – Tyler Aldren

Cait Haug, Kindergarten, Discovery Elementary, Sioux Falls 
“Mrs. Haug’s passion for writing has now been passed on to my 6 year old son who comes home wanting to continue the learning day by writing stories to share with us rather than request time on an Ipad or other device. She has been such a motivating force in his early learning journey and will be truly a kindergarten teacher he will not forget.” - Brittany Prinsen, Colleague

enny Joffer, 1st Grade, All City Elementary, Sioux Falls
“I love how she recognizes good behaviors in the classroom by thanking the students for being good leaders.  She will play her ukulele at the beginning of math class and give the children leadership opportunities through out the day.  Our kids have so many ways to succeed in Ms. Joffer's class.  They are learning about the school curriculum but they are also learning about kindness, caring, their abilities as good leaders and friends.” - Suzanne Erickson, Parent

Jennifer Jensen, 3rd Grade, Valley Springs Elementary, Valley Springs
“Ms. Jensen has had a tremendous impact on our life this school year. She recognized my son's patterns early on in the year and reached out to me right away. Ms. Jensen made sure to share both the struggle they were facing the classroom, but also made sure that she gave him positive feedback. It was obvious that she cared for my son as an individual beyond just wanting him to "behave" in the classroom and truly wanted the best educational outcome for him. Due to her quick recognition and intervention, we have been able to help my son have his most successful school year so far. We have kept in communication through the year, ensuring that any problems are quickly addressed both at school and at home, which has made it much easier to give him a positive learning experience.” – Maria Coughlin, Parent

Kelli Fantroy, Lowell Elementary, Sioux Falls
“Kelli has a wide variety of students in her class all with different learning styles.  Kelli has developed a way to ensure all the students needs are met when it comes to understanding the curriculum whether it be visual, audio or hands on learning.  Kelli was also nominated as a candidate for the 2023 teacher of the year award, I feel that alone speaks highly of her dedication to her teaching career and also to her students.” 

Emily Tompkins, 5th Grade, Harvey Dunn Elementary, Sioux Falls
“Mrs. Tomkins has made a huge impact in my child's life. My daughter had her in 3rd grade and she really struggled with reading and math. In fact, my daughter hated doing both. Mrs. Tompkins went out of her way to work with my daughter before school, sometimes after school, during recess time (Mrs. Tomkins breaks), at every opportunity she helped my daughter. My daughter not only gained progress and became proficient but she learned to love both subjects!” - Danielle Johnson, Parent

Each teacher nominated was sent a note notifying them of their nomination and of the kind words submitted by their nominator.