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Leaders In Action winner Melanie Lyons both inspires, is inspired by her students

The Perrysburg High School Spanish teacher was honored for her dedication in and out of classroom.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — It was a classroom interruption that came with a surprise.

"Tenemos una sorpresa!" said WTOL 11's Tim Miller as he and Ariyl Onstott walked into Melanie Lyons' Spanish class on Tuesday morning. 

It means, "We have a surprise!"

They were delivering good news for Lyons, who was this week's winner of the Leaders In Action award.

The award recognizes school teachers or staff who go above and beyond for their students or their school.

Perrysburg High School student Andrew Kish nominated Lyons, who has been his Spanish teacher in his years at the high school. 

He says she really made such an impact on him.

Specifically, Andrew had to change his education situation last year during the pandemic to protect his immuno-compromised brother.

 Andrew says Mrs. Lyons went above and beyond to prioritize his learning.

He read part of his nomination letter in her class, as he was also in on the surprise.

Andrew said, "She ensured that I was keeping up with the rest of my class and treated me as if I was learning at school even though I was at home. She took the time to meet with me before and after school as she does with all of her students, even though she was not required to."

Credit: WTOL 11

Lyons was moved by the honor as she was handed a plaque that will forever remind her of the impact she has made.

"I really can't say enough of how great our young people are and how they persevere through everything. COVID is just one of many many examples. I'm just struck with honor. I'm so honored to do this profession," Lyons said.

Lyons says it was Andrew who made her a better teacher.

She says being an educator is life-changing, and she's putting the call out for you to consider answering. Teachers are in high demand, and good educators and transform lives.

Here was Andrew's nomination letter to his teacher:

"Someone that I would like to nominate is my Spanish teacher for the past three years, Melanie Lyons. She is currently a Spanish teacher at Perrysburg High School and is truly a hero. I have had the pleasure of having Profe Lyons as my teacher for Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior year. Now, as a senior, I realize how lucky I was. Her class was one of my favorite classes out of the day; I would look forward to class each and every day. She inspires students to achieve their greatest and fullest potential. Every single class of hers was impactful and educating. Each day that students would leave class, they would be inspired and take away a large wealth of knowledge with them. She goes above and beyond for her students. Specifically, last year when COVID greatly affected the school year, she was there at school making sure all students had everything they needed to be successful. She would arrive early and stay late to ensure that all students' needs were being met. Additionally, she is not one to 'toot' her own horn, so to speak. She is humble and is much deserving of your recognition."

Credit: WTOL 11
Andrew Kish hugs his teacher, Melanie Lyons, after she wins award

Lyons even dressed that day, along with many of her students, in "Cowboys and Aliens" theme for Spirit Week at the school.

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