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Michele Dodenhoff, Top Teacher

KJOY commends Hicksville educator as best on Long Island

For all the hard work teachers do, finding a shiny apple on your desk sometimes just isn’t enough.

Michele Dodenhoff, a member of the Hicksville Congress of Teachers and a first-grade teacher at Dutch Lane School, was nominated as a candidate for KJOY radio’s “Teacher of the Month.”

Residents all across Long Island contacted the radio station to nominate outstanding teachers who have made a difference in their lives or the lives of their children. After six finalists were selected, voting for the winner took place during the month of December. Voting was open to all Long Islanders, and networks of school communities reached out to encourage others to vote for their favorite teacher. 

On Jan. 8, the Dutch Lane teacher was notified that she won the contest.

“I was so deeply touched by the outpouring of support that I received from the Hicksville community,” said Dodenhoff.

She was awarded a $500 prize, which she is using to supplement her classroom library, purchase “common core” instructional materials to help her 31 first-graders meet the new rigorous standards and attend a conference in order to stay on top of the of the newest innovations to help children achieve success.

Dodenhoff, who has worked in the district since 1997, first started out as a resource room teacher and then went on to teach first, second and fourth grades.  She lives in Islip Terrace with her husband Charlie and their three daughters, Shannon, Chelsea and Cassie (and their two Labradors). Parents, former students, and colleagues all helped spread the word about Dodenhoff – how much she cares about all of her students and how committed she is to providing students with warm and stimulating school environment.

“It’s so rewarding to be a part of Hicksville. Dutch Lane’s children, parents, and staff are like a second family to me and I couldn’t think of a better place to enjoy my career,” she said.