Liberty Local Schools teacher, Carla Collins, has been nominated as an exemplary teacher and has been invited to participate in the 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process. Collins is one of several Trumbull County educators who have been nominated within District 7, which encompasses all of Trumbull, Ashtabula, Geauga and Portage counties and portions of Lake and Summit counties.
Collins knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. Her father, Jim DeToro taught at Liberty Local Schools for 35 years. As a little girl, Collins would use his old books to play school with her brothers in their basement. During her years in school, she always volunteered to be the teacher’s helper. So, when it came time to go to college, she knew there was no other career option more suited for her than teaching. Collins attended Youngstown State University for her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She’s been teaching for the last 14 years, 11 of which have been in the Liberty Local School District.
“Every school year, my very first priority is to teach kindness to my students. You can ask any of my students - current and former. They will tell you my classroom is a kind classroom. It’s just so important to me to make sure that each student feels safe and comfortable when they are in my room. That environment is what will allow them to thrive. So, once those basic needs are met, we jump into our other school work,” said Carla Collins.
In addition to teaching second grade, Collins serves as a DonorsChoose.org Teacher Ambassador. She provides professional developments to staff on ways to get funding for their classroom. Since 2017, she’s personally had 86 grant projects funded through DonorsChoose.org, totaling more than $30,000 of resources and materials for her students and classroom.
“Liberty is proud of Carla! She is so worthy of her nomination for Ohio Teacher of the Year. Carla LOVES her kids. She provides an engaging, caring, community of learners, designing culturally relevant lessons in an environment that allows students to thrive in a culture of respect. Her door is always open, welcoming others to take a peak, join in a song, dance, play with her pet toads (Hamburger and Barbara), or listen to her students confidently tell you what they are learning,” said Liberty Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Andy Tommelleo.
This is the first time Collins has been nominated to participate in the Teacher of the Year selection process. When she’s not teaching second grade at Blott Guy PK-6, she’s spending time with her husband and their three children - Riley, Maddox and Harper.
In June, a regional committee will review the District 7 educators who were nominated to participate in the Teacher of the Year selection process. From that group, one will be selected to serve as District 7’s official candidate into the Ohio Teacher of the Year competition.