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Ms. Ashley Lester Receives Teacher Award, Reflects on Rewarding Moments

Our team at The Malvern School is incredibly proud that six of our teachers from across various school locations have been recognized as recipients of the 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Awards in honor of their dedication, expertise and commitment to providing high-quality early learning experiences. This blog is part of a Q&A series that will spotlight each of the awardees.

Ms. Ashley Lester says the proud moments that come daily as a preschool lead teacher at The Malvern School of Warrington are remarkable.

“I thoroughly enjoy my career in early childhood education. I love communicating with the children’s parents and hearing how much their children enjoy coming to school,” she explains. “The children get so excited to share special parts of their lives and I enjoy being able to experience that with them.”

Beyond these special everyday experiences, what’s particularly remarkable is how Ashley was recently identified from among educators throughout the U.S., earning recognition as a Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award honoree.

We sat down with Ashley for more perspective on this award win and other rewarding moments in her preschool classroom.

TMS: What drives you and your approach to teaching?

AL: My preschool children! I love seeing the look on their faces when the light bulb goes off in their head. Seeing the progression from the beginning of the school year to the end and the amazing strides the children have made is such a wonderful feeling. Making a positive difference in the children’s lives is what drives me to be the teacher I am today. I strive to be the best possible teacher that I can be for the children each and every day.

TMS: What’s your secret to success in the classroom?

AL: My secret to success is being extremely organized and making lists for everything that needs to be accomplished. I thrive off of completing checklists and working ahead as best as I can. I enjoy working ahead on tasks in case something comes up because I have the wiggle room to do so. I also believe flexibility is key to a successful classroom. Some days may not turn out as planned, and that’s OK. I would rather alter my plans if it works better for the children. 

TMS: Why is early learning so important for young children?

AL: Early learning is so important for young children because it allows them to grasp the fundamentals to succeed in life. For example, the socialization children experience daily with other children and adults provides a solid foundation for growth. Children also learn independence and self-help skills away from home daily.

TMS: What does being a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award mean to you?

AL: It is such an honor to be a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award! The acknowledgment alone to be nominated is wonderful but to have won this award, I am absolutely speechless! To be recognized for my dedication and hard work in my preschool classroom at The Malvern School means so much more than I can put into words. Working with young children has its challenging yet extremely rewarding moments and this is definitely a proud moment!

Learn more about all of The Malvern School’s 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award recipients here.


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