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LMS Teacher Team Honored

Lincolnton Middle School teachers Lori Reynolds and Judi Olach had the same reaction when they learned they had won Team of the Year for region six.
“Oh no!” said Reynolds. “We’ll both be out of school at the same time.”
Because of the award, the two teachers who make up the Einstein Team were invited to the North Carolina Middle School Conference in Greensboro.
After working together for four years, the teachers have rarely missed school on the same day.
Reynolds teaches the sixth grade team of math and science. Olach teaches social studies and English.
“It’s great when you find somebody who has the same philosophies as you,” said Reynolds. “It’s so rare.”
The two women became friends when they first started working together.
They often went out to dinner and called each other on the phone because they could not find enough time during school to talk.
Since they first started working together, two teachers have kept each other informed on what goes on in their classrooms.
“I always know what Lori’s teaching in her class, and she always knows what I’m teaching,” said Olach.
“There’s never a time a child does something in one room that the other teacher doesn’t know about, good or bad.”
The entire sixth grade team meets once a day for a team meeting. It’s a time to review what the students have learned and talk what’s happening on the team.
“You discuss all your problems and all the good things,” said Ethan Moore, a student on the team.
The students were together as a team when the school’s principal, Scott Carpenter, came in to talk to the class. Many had thought he had come in to discipline them.
Instead, he told everyone about the award.
“When he told us we were hollering and screaming and saying ‘Yes! Yes,’” said Moore.
Reynolds and Olach received the honor after working on a narrative describing their team.
They wrote about the team’s strong identity, the use of many different instructional strategies and about curriculum knowledge and integration.
“Learning is the whole concept,” said Olach. “It’s not just social studies. It’s not just science.”
Students often forget what class they learned things in.
“Ms. Olach teaches us poems, and then Ms. Reynolds would use the poems that have science in them,” said Charity Bryant, a student on the team. “It interacts with two subjects.”
The teachers often allow their students time to work together as a team in a productive social environment.
“It’s part of the developmental process at this age,” said Olach. “They need to talk about their ideas.”
Over the past four years, the two teachers have learned when one needs to take over because the other needs a break.
They have also made a habit of visiting students’ at their homes and working late after school to tutor them.
These qualities helped them receive their title as Team of the Year.
“We do these things regardless if there’s an award attached,” said Reynolds. “We were honored. These were reputable traits we aspired to.”
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Staff Writer Sarah Grano can be reached at 704-735-3031 or sgrano@ltnews.comby Sarah Grano

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