Donna Bowles posing with her Yay of the Day swag bag.

YAY DONNA BOWLES! Donna Bowles of Colonial Trail Elementary School is today’s “Yay of the Day” honoree. Superintendent Amy Cashwell honored Donna recently at CTES.

YAYWORTHY— Donna received 10 nominations! Tina Pleasants said: “Ms. Bowles goes above and beyond the call of duty! We are very impressed by her enthusiasm and desire to make the kids feel comfortable with their new way of learning. She is very aware of each child’s strengths and weaknesses. When my grandson wasn’t sure how to solve a math problem, she made it a point to set aside some time to teach the lesson a different way so he could better understand how to solve it.”

Jyothi Yallanki said: “She really takes care of each kid in the school when they are in trouble with online learning.”

Justin Mattison said: “She deserves the Yay of the Day every day!! One example: She took the time to encourage our daughter in the virtual class with her award and said how proud of her she was.”

Vijay Gangula said: “She deserves this award because of the way she handles the first grade kids. She always responds positively and patiently to kids’ questions.”

Jessica Erickson said: “Her energy in the virtual classroom is amazing. I know she must have tough days (like all of us!), but she brings constant enthusiasm to her virtual class of first graders. It sometimes seems like there must be three of her because she manages to run the lessons, note when the class’s attention is wavering and pull them back in, and find little ways to make every kid feel special throughout the day. She always remembers my son’s interests, and will ask him if he went on a walk during the break (which we usually do) or what he’s reading (he loves to read!). These small moments of connection are key for first-graders trying to learn virtually.”

Jessica Walker said: “She is an awesome teacher and we have been blessed to have her this year. I see examples daily. Despite virtual learning, she is fun, engaging, helpful and puts in that extra time and love.”

Kasey Mattison said: “She has so much patience with her students. One example that comes to mind of the ways she makes a difference was when she stayed online after school to help my daughter gain access to online work (literacy footprints). She then spent time talking to my daughter about dogs and truly showed interest and care for my daughter.”

Minwyelet Melesse said: “As I listen to Mrs. Bowles’ class each day, I am so blown away by the energy and care she brings each day. She makes a difference every day. She divided students into small groups — each group has a follow-up and extra activity once a week outside their class schedule. This has really helped the students make significant progress.”

Yali Li said: “Mrs. Bowles loves students and lets them take their time when they need it. My daughter started with CTES as a first-grader, and she didn’t have any friends in her class. Mrs. Bowles told her that she’s her friend, and then would spend extra time chatting with my daughter.”

Kevin (Jin) Qian said: “Mrs. Bowles loves students, she’s a patient teacher and a great friend to students as well. The energy and care that she puts into educating kids every day makes a big difference.”

Thank you for all you do, Donna, to make a positive difference and move HCPS forward!