20-year Lakota teacher called one of Ohio’s best at teaching about military and veterans

For first time, a Lakota teacher has won top honors from among hundreds of candidates for the American Legion Educator of the Year for the state of Ohio.

Tisha Menchhofer-Grote, a veteran instructor at Lakota East High School, was chosen from among 450 nominees from American Legion posts across the state, and she picked her award during the group’s annual convention in Columbus on Saturday.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said the Advanced Placement U.S. government and politics teacher, who is in her 20th year as an instructor, all of them at Lakota East.

Menchhofer-Grote said she got the news of winning via a phone call and “I was screaming my head off.”

“I was not even expecting it,” she said.

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Jerry Nelson, the Americanism chair for American Legion Post 681, which serves both townships said that “Tisha has helped her students and our local community by educating her students and giving them the knowledge to come back to West Chester and Liberty townships and instill high values for us.”

Menchhofer usually brings in military veterans as speakersup to four times a year, although that had to pause because of coronavirus precautions.

It’s important, she said, for the next generation to hear directly from the men and women who have served in America’s armed services, especially the older veterans.

“They are not going to be with us much longer so I feel like it is extremely important for students to understand the perspective of the veterans who were fighting in those foreign wars. It’s the personal stories that are important and mean so much,” she said.

Besides her statewide award, she has also received a proclamation from the Liberty Twp. Trustees and Ohio Senate.

“Her passion for teaching American government is evident from the moment you walk into the classroom. We are excited that (she) will be the first educator from Lakota to receive this honor,” said Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota Schools.

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