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2021-22 Above & Beyond Awards winner: Tamara Van Voorhis

award winner Tamara Van Voorhis“Mrs. Van Voorhis was an exceptional teacher for my son when he was in third grade. She went above and beyond to ensure that he had the resources necessary for him to succeed not only in learning, but self-confidence. Because of her efforts in recognizing his needs, he was able to get to grade-level for reading and his confidence really flourished.”  - Nominator Jamie Kidder


“Relationships are everything,” Van Voorhis said. “Connections with students, parents and the community can make all the difference in fostering a successful year.”

Van Voorhis can be found playing board games with students during recess, engaging with students through extracurricular activities such as theater productions or Miracle League Baseball.

“The relationships I build with my students are the most important and rewarding part of my job. Connections with students help me better meet their needs both academically and socially. Seeing my students succeed in and outside the classroom makes the time and effort put into teaching worth it.”

She also enjoys connecting with families at events like EL Family Night, Winterfest, or the Carnival. Van Voorhis has also held free tutoring sessions before or after school for third graders to help them improve their reading skills. 

“When you have a genuine relationship and they know you care about them, the more they will start caring about the next piece of curriculum,” Van Voorhis said.