A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Children Inc. names Matt Behrensmeyer of Beechwood as ‘Service Teacher of the Year’

A Beechwood teacher known for his innovative and hands-on approach to service projects has been named ‘Service Teacher of the Year’ by Children, Inc.’s NKYAB (Northern Kentucky Youth Advisory Board).

Matt Behrensmeyer delivers hats, socks and backpacks to the Life Learning Center.

Since Matt Behrensmeyer started teaching at Beechwood in 2011, he has mentored students on more than 30 major service projects. Some of them have become annual traditions, like the Halloween Waffle Day. Behrensmeyer starts making waffles at 4 a.m. to sell to the student body. This year, they raised more than a thousand dollars for Isaiah House.

“Matt’s dedication is truly inspiring,” said Steve Oldfield, director of the NKYAB. He doesn’t just sit back and tell the kids what to do – he gets right in there and works harder than anyone.”

Oldfield said the awards committee also was impressed with the variety of organizations Behrensmeyer has helped, from Girls on the Run to the TriState Bleeding Disorder Society. The Latin teacher, cross country and track coach has worked with more than two dozen charities across Greater Cincinnati.

“Lots of teachers organize canned food drives,” Oldfield said. “Matt has inspired Beechwood students to go to the next level, helping people facing many different challenges.”

Much of that work happens outside the traditional school day.

“Mr. Behrensmeyer spends hours beyond the classroom to ensure our students have the opportunity to give back to our community,” said Beechwood High School Principal Justin Kaiser.

Matt Behrensmeyer presents the Life Learning Center’s Mitch Haralson with new hats, socks and backbacks. Matt is the NKYAB Service Teacher of the Year.

“He has coordinated numerous fundraisers and service events while working with our Tigers Who Care, NHS, Cross Country, Latin Club, Track and Field, and as a representative on the NKYAB.”

The youth advisory board meets monthly at the Life Learning Center in Covington. When the non-profit’s Mitch Haralson asked the students and teachers for help collecting supplies for their candidates who are working to get their lives back on track, he wasn’t prepared for Behrensmeyer’s response. The teacher showed up with boxes of brand new socks, hats and backpacks, purchased with proceeds from a school dance put on by the National Honor Society.

“The support that Matt has brought to our organization here at the Life Learning Center has been humbling,” said Haralson. “The donations have been amazing in thoughtfulness and shocking in quantity. Matt has shown nothing but absolute support to the Life Learning Center and we could not be more grateful.”

While Behrensmeyer appreciates the gratitude and his award from the NKYAB, that’s not why he gets so involved in service.

“Volunteering gives students a better appreciation for what they have and an understanding of others in need,” Behrensmeyer said. “When we make an effort to better others, we better ourselves as well.”

Children Inc.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment