Shocked and humbled are two words Locust Corner Elementary School Carlie Fahrnbach uses in describing her feelings about being named an Ohio TORCH Award recipient.
“There are so many teachers around our district and around the state who will never be recognized, to this degree, for what they do,” Ms. Fahrnbach said. “Every teacher in the state of Ohio is a teacher who shows character and heart. I am just humbled that they would choose me to be one of the five around the state to recognize for doing so.”
Ms. Fahrnbach is one of five recipients of the 2020 TORCH award. The Ohio Department of Education gives this annual award to five extraordinary teachers who model strong character and show heart for their students, colleagues, and communities. TORCH stands for Teachers of Ohio Representing Character and Heart. Ms. Fahrnbach was nominated for the recognition by the family of one of her students.
“Ms. Fahrnbach, an intervention specialist at Locust Corner Elementary School in the New Richmond Exempted Village School District, nurtures at-risk youth and is always available to help students—even outside of school hours and on the weekends. She sees the potential in every student and navigates a path for them to reach success,” ODE said in a post on its Facebook page.
For an award of this magnitude, there would usually be a surprise assembly with students and staff crowded in an auditorium. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s award recipients were celebrated virtually. For Ms. Fahrnbach, the celebration came on April 24. The virtual celebration included Ms. Fahrnbach, NREVSD Superintendent Tracey Miller, Locust Corner Principal Joseph Roach, the nominating family, and representatives from the Ohio Department of Education.
“The district is very proud of Ms. Fahrnbach,” Superintendent Miller said. “We are appreciative of the ODE for creating this opportunity to recognize teachers who exemplify these characteristics. Having the family on the video call when Carlie received notification really helped to emphasize the importance of student-teacher relationships.”
“This award is not just an honor for Ms. Fahrnbach, but for our entire team of educators who work with our emotionally at-risk students,” Principal Roach said. “Ms. Fahrnbach is an exceptional educator and her team of paraprofessionals, which include Michelle McNeese, Amy Callihan, Bethany McGannon, Glema Jennings, and Kassady Raines are a very special group of caring individuals.”
Following the award presentation, Locust Corner Elementary said in a Tweet: “Congratulations Ms. Fahrnbach!!! You are a shining example of excellence! We are so proud to have you representing New Richmond Schools and Locust Corner Elementary!!”
Ms. Fahrnbach is in her third year of teaching at Locust Corner in the behavior support classroom and is in her fourth year of teaching.
“As a young teacher, just starting out in my career, I am hopeful that receiving the TORCH award can serve as an inspiration to young teachers around me, that they too can foster success in every single one of their students,” Ms. Fahrnbach said.