Two MCS teachers earn Master Teacher Designation

Two MCS teachers earn Master Teacher Designation

One of the cornerstones of Tyger pride is to strive for excellence. This standard is modeled by the teachers who continue to move forward with their expertise while honing their skills in the classroom.

Teachers Mindy Newman and Michelle Dials were recently awarded Master Teacher certification by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The Master Teacher standard is given to teachers who satisfy specific requirements as demonstrated by collected data within the last five years. Candidates submit narratives and evidence-based information to support their application.

According to ODE’s website, a master teacher “demonstrates excellence inside and outside of the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning.”


Combined, Newman and Dials have 47 years of teaching experience. 

In her twenty-first year of teaching, for Newman who served as a third-grade teacher at Tyger Digital Academy, the progression in earning this designation was a natural one. Her previous work as a third-grade literacy coach meant that much of the documentation required was parallel to work that she had practiced for many years. 

Dials, a fifteen-year Mansfield City Schools veteran, is an ELA and science special education teacher at Mansfield Middle School. 

Both teachers began the process of obtaining the certification prior to the shutdown of school buildings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many teachers decided not to move forward, Newman and Dials progressed in January 2021. The Master Teacher process includes organizing and structuring a number of documents presented as a portfolio to show outcomes as evidence of specific concepts. Newman called the process “intense,” compounded by the pandemic and not having access to all of the data because of online teaching. Still, she persisted. She recommends teachers who are considering this pathway to begin collecting data right away.

The school year presented perfect timing for Dials, calling it one of the “best years I’ve had in a long time.” While she recognizes the struggles that her colleagues near and far have had, she says the opportunity to have her students in-person at least four days a week for the majority of the school year was a great benefit. Her experience serving on various committees and documenting concurrently in her Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation Systems (OTES) binder helped her prepare the documentation needed to meet the standards of the Master Teacher program. 

In true Tyger fashion, both teachers are looking for the next avenue to showcase their skills and provide additional support to their students. Newman will transition back into in-person teaching at Prospect Elementary and is strongly considering pursuing the Lead Teacher certification and eventually the National Board certification from the National Board for Teaching Standards. Dials has already begun work on attaining the Hearing Impaired licensure which includes learning American Sign Language (ASL). 

“Each year if more and more teachers reach out and get this certification, it makes Mansfield look all the better,” Newman added.

For more information on the ODE’s Master Teacher program, visit their website at

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