ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – This year's Orange County Public School "Teacher of the Year" is getting results for students impacted by hearing loss.
Focused on helping pre-K deaf and hearing impaired students reach their highest potential, Chris Arenth is using her platform as district teacher of the year to be an advocate for students like hers.
Through a hands-on approach, including field trips to Green Meadows Petting Farm, students in her class learn the meanings of the signs and speech being modeled to them.
With more than 30 years of experience, the Lake Sybelia Elementary teacher said she loves what she does. She and her team help deaf and hard of hearing students ages 3 to 5 build their communication skills. Most students enter her classroom with no language skills, but she helps these young students find their voice both socially and academically.
"I am blessed to have fantastic paraprofessionals working with me, and colleagues at school. We are all passionate about children and helping them develop language," Arenth said. "Everybody's very invested, we try to bring parents in as much as we can, too, because that's the way they're going to succeed if we're all working together."
Arenth is also a master teacher for the Learn Together Project and helps college-bound deaf or hard of hearing students find teachers to meet their needs.