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TKHS Teacher Earns "Above and Beyond" Award

Shelley Erb is a retired TK elementary teacher. The Above and Beyond Award is given to honor someone in the district who does more than what's expected to help students.

Sharpe said he's normally part of the review committee making the decision about who gets the award. He didn't think much of it when he wasn't included this year until he was given the honor.

"I was very surprised," said Sharpe. "I had no idea really."

This is Sharpe's 13th year at TKHS teaching social studies and economics. About 12 years ago, at the urging of a group of students, he helped start the Environmental Action Council.

"The kids were upset that we weren't doing any recycling. So we started recycling programs here for bottles and paper. We've added the bottle water filling stations and have paper recycling bins in the classrooms," said Sharpe.

He continues to lead the student organization as they've branched out to other projects including a peace pole, lending library, and planting flowers in Freeport.

He's also helped coach the TKHS Science Olympiad team for several years.

Teaching wasn't always on Sharpe's radar. While attending Michigan State University for mechanical engineering initially, Sharpe got an opportunity to teach a class in 3D modeling. The experience in front of a classroom was all it took and he changed to a teaching degree.

Sharpe got married about a year ago and recently he and his wife had their first child.  When he's not busy with school, or now taking care of his young son, he loves to be outside hiking, camping, kayaking, and playing disc golf.

Nominations for the Shelley Erb Above and Beyond Award are made by TK teachers and staff. Sharpe said it makes the award even more special because it comes directly from his peers.

In other recognitions, several staff members were honored for reaching milestones in their years of service to the district.

Three staff members, Cindy Brooks, Laura Burks and Tim Penfield, were honored for 30 years of service.

Recognized for reaching the 20-year milestone were Kellie Bremer, Erica Dudik, Matt Melvin, Luann Schnur, Molly Formsma, Carla VanHaitsma, Angie Jefferson, Barb VerHoef, Amanda Kahafer, Kim Westra, Jamie Kellogg and Tonya Woods.

Honored for 10 years of service were Steven Guikema and Jamie Hoeksema.