Star Teacher of the week: Nicole Cholka

Published: December 20, 2019 9:07 AM EST
Updated: December 20, 2019 11:16 AM EST

The Star teacher for this week dedicates her time to make sure no child is left behind, even after they graduate from school by developing a unique program that helps students find success outside the classroom.

Nicole Cholka is the project search instructor at NCH hospital. The two-year-old program is the only program of its kind in Collier County that helps special needs high school graduates prepare for the workforce.

“A lot of them come in and they’re shy, they haven’t had a lot of exposure to the workforce and it’s amazing the transformation that really takes place in each one of them,” said Cholka.

And she has such a gentle touch to her teaching methods.

“I feel like you need to have a relationship with a student before you can really teach them because once you have the connection you can teach them more. Correcting them gently, you know like let’s try it this way, how do you think this would work? And helping them try to come up with their own conclusions rather than us just telling them how to do it,” Cholka said.

The results she gets speak for themselves. One of the students that participated in her program recently got a job at a local Publix.

“Ashley got the job and I had to hold back tears…it’s those moments when you know you’re making a difference,” Cholka said.

And another student, Trey Espinoza, is still working his way through the program, but couldn’t be happier to be there working with Ms. Cholka.

“It’s awesome, shes just great…she’s cool,” said Espinoza.

If you have a Star teacher you would like to nominate, send in a submission to Sabrina Katz WINK News Facebook page.