(WKBN) – WKBN is honoring local educators with our Creative Classroom contest.

Our third winner is Dr. Jennifer Toney, who teaches at Sharpsville Elementary School in Mercer County.

Dr. Toney plans to use her $500 prize for projects that help students with social-emotional learning.

“We’ve been doing social-emotional learning and I want to kind of infuse that more with some hands-on, we call it STREAMS — STEAM and SEL. Combine that together and do all kinds of projects with them. This [prize] is going to be amazing in helping us do that,” she said.

Dr. Toney would like to incorporate things like Legos and robots into her lesson plans.

“I’d love to incorporate some hands-on Lego building that helps them make decisions with high-quality decision making. I want to get some robots in here so they can work on empathy with each other through the robots and coding. There’s all kinds of great things that are going to be so possible now. So, thank you,” she said.

Dr. Toney has noticed the past few years have been challenging for students as they navigate through the pandemic.

“We’ve noticed the kids are coming back, we’re getting back into the social end of things and into the classroom and it’s been a challenge to address the needs, social and academic. So this is going to help with our Amazing Paths program and infuse it and make it more hands-on for our kids,” she said. “My plan is to use [the prize] and infuse it during our social-emotional time and make it more authentic and hands-on for our kids.”

Dr. Toney joins Marsha Coffee from Leetonia and Molly Martin from Struthers as our Creative Classroom winners for 2022. One more lucky teacher will be named on Thursday during First News at 5 p.m.