Congratulations are in order! Our very own, Mrs. Mimi Holsapple, 1st grade teacher at SSFC, is a winner of the Give Back Contest sponsored by Catholic Financial.
Mrs. Holsapple was awarded a $500 cash prize as well as a $4000 donation to SSFC! We couldn't be more proud of Mrs. Holsapple and ALL she brings to SSFC. Please read the narrative below to understand how deserving she was of this award.
Mrs. Mimi Holsapple is a first grade teacher at SS. Francis and Clare Catholic School. She is an amazing person and teacher who has dedicated her life to transforming the lives of children. Mrs. Holsapple joined SS. Francis and Clare five years ago, after retiring from teaching in public schools for 23 years. She says she felt God was calling her to teach at a Catholic school. She often tells people how blessed she feels to be teaching at a Catholic school; however, it is our school that has been truly blessed by her talents and commitment to the students and school.
Mrs. Holsapple has the unique gift of making everyone she meets feel special. She knows the names of the majority of children in the school, as well as many of their parents and siblings. In the morning, she can be found in the hallway welcoming students with a smile and kind words. Many of her students from previous years stop by her classroom every morning for a quick hug from her before they begin their day. Mrs. Holsapple happily calls it the "morning hug club!"
It is very apparent to all that sharing her faith with the children is of utmost importance to her. She begins each day with a prayer, and welcomes her students to share their special intentions, no matter how big or small. Students cannot hide their excitement for coming to school to share their life and prayers with Mrs. Holsapple!
Faith and love for God and each other is incorporated into everything the students do throughout the day, but she does not stop there. Teaching her students how to put their faith into action and actually life out their faith is something that is also very important to Mrs. Holsapple. After she taught her students about the Acts of Mercy, two of her students went home determined to put what they learned into action. They wanted to help the poor by having a lemonade stand. The money they earned was used to purchase and distribute items for the poor. Mrs. Holsapple encouraged and supported their efforts by being one of their first and best customers the day of the lemonade stand! She was solely responsible for inspiring the children to make a difference in people’s lives and teaching them the importance of living out their faith.
“She is one of the most caring and loving people you’ll ever meet,” my son told me. “She knows how to have fun and teach at the same time.”
As you can see, Mrs. Holsapple’s dedication to her students does not stop when school lets out, or the school year comes to an end. Her commitment goes beyond the four walls of her classroom, and she connects with her students and their families in a way most teachers do not. She genuinely wants to know what her students’ strengths and weaknesses are, as well as their interests outside of school. You will find Mrs. Holsapple at sporting activities, dance competitions or plays of both current and past students. She shows her support and love for her students by cheering them on in everything they do, both inside and outside of school. She even happily meets her students on weekends for ice cream when she is invited! She makes her students feel loved and important, and becomes a permanent part of her students’ and their families’ lives.
Mrs. Holsapple also differentiates for each of her students. She works very hard to understand each of her student’s strengths and weakness, and then strives to meet their needs, whatever they might be. If they need to be challenged, she will find ways to continue challenging them. If she has a current, or even past student, who is struggling in any way, she does not hesitate to volunteer her personal time before or after school to help support them. Building self-confidence and a love of learning is always her top priority. She is very good at doing this while also balancing the physical needs of each child, such as special dietary needs. She will make sure that no child feels excluded or left out during classroom parties. She ensures “safe snacks” are always available and praises her students to encourage growth and self-awareness/care.
Mrs. Holsapple is a lifelong learner. One of her favorite quotes is, “No matter how good we are, we can always be better.” This is a motto she lives out each and every day. She also strives to instill this love of learning in her students as well. Even though Mrs. Holsapple is a veteran teacher, she continues to find ways to become a better educator through professional development opportunities. Mrs. Holsapple is a role model teacher to others, but she also looks to other teachers to help her grow.
Mrs. Holsapple is an extraordinary teacher who loves her students with her whole heart and soul. She reminds her students on a daily basis that she does not just “like them... she LOVES them!” She continually shows her love and dedication to them by showing up for them on a daily basis, both inside and outside of the classroom. There is no teacher more deserving of being recognized as an unsung hero for her dedication to transforming the lives of her students than Mrs. Mimi Holsapple!
Mrs. Holsapple wrote this to all staff:
"I just want to take a minute to say "thank you" to the wonderful folks at SSFC for their votes and kind words that allowed me to receive the Give Back Contest award. It certainly caught me by surprise and I am humbled beyond measure. This award in no way overshadows the hard work that each member of the staff puts forth to make Saints Francis and Clare an exceptional parish and school. I am blessed to work in an environment guided by the Holy Spirit with so many exceptional colleagues. I sincerely love coming to work each day. Teaching is certainly a passion of mine and I am ever so grateful that God brought me to Saints Francis and Clare. Thank you again."