UPDATE: (5/18/12) Kristin Golia appeared on "LIVE! With Kelly" this morning. Scroll down to watch a video clip of her appearance. Voting for the "LIVE! With Kelly" Top Teacher of the Year Award is now open; voting closes on Monday, May 21 at 3:00 p.m.
RWU Alumna Kristin Travis Golia ’05, ’07 is a finalist for the “LIVE! With Kelly” Top Teacher of the Year Award. Golia will appear on the popular morning talk show on Friday, May 18, at 9:00 a.m. E.S.T. Voting will open on the show’s website at 10:00 a.m. following the live broadcast on ABC.
Golia, a third grade teacher at the Osborn Hill School in Fairfield, Conn., was nominated for the Top Teacher of the Year award by Jessica Gerber, the mother of one of Golia’s students. Gerber’s son, Teddy, was in Golia’s class when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. In a letter to the show, Gerber explained that Golia went above and beyond the call of duty, not only sending work home for Teddy but also making visits to the Gerber home to tutor him and help him pass the third grade despite 100 absences due to his cancer treatment and hospitalization. Gerber wrote:
Kristin Golia is both a wonderful teacher and an amazing person. She was my son Teddy's 3rd grade teacher. Two months into the school year, Teddy was, out of the blue, diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive type of cancer. While his life, and our family's life, was turned upside down, one person who stepped in and became a beacon of strength and normalcy was Kristin. Because of his deteriorating physical condition, two life-threatening operations and his chemotherapy and radiation regimen, Teddy missed 100 days of school, but he still was able to graduate from 3rd grade thanks to Kristin. She volunteered to come to our house and tutor him whenever he was able. She sent home fun activities and books. She visited him in the hospital. She made videotaped greetings from Teddy's classmates and sent them to us. She was calm, caring, thoughtful and strong, and even though she was incredibly upset to see Teddy suffer, she never let him see it, and instead greeted him with a smile every day she saw him.
Teddy lost his cancer battle in August 2010. His sister started the third grade two weeks later – Golia was her teacher. She has continued to support the Gerber family as well as the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for pediatric cancer research, an organization that in 2012 named Teddy Gerber an ambassador.
Out of thousands of nominations for the “LIVE! With Kelly” Top Teacher of the Year national search, Golia was voted into the Top 12 of individuals who went above and beyond in their workplace. From there, she was voted into the Top 5.
In addition to the honor of the title of Top Teacher of the Year, the grand prize winner will receive a 2012 Ford Fusion. Click here to learn more and to vote for Kristin Golia in the 2012 “LIVE! With Kelly” Teacher of the Year contest.