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Excellence in Education

Pocopson Elementary School Teacher Receives Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Recognition

On Thursday, April 25, the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation celebrated Kelli Houpt, an educator who makes an extraordinary impact in our community. 

Houpt, a recipient of the 2024 FMFCU Excellence in Teaching Award, has served as a first grade teacher at Pocopson Elementary School (PES) since 1997. 

“We are so proud of Kelli and are so grateful to our partners at the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union for recognizing the legacy she has created here at Pocopson Elementary School. Kelli has inspired a love of learning for more than 600 Patriots over the years,” said PES Principal Clif Beaver. 

While some might call it work, Houpt says that being a teacher is more like magic. “Our children so often experience the joy of having learned or done something for the first time. And we get to experience that with them every year!” Houpt says that first graders learn foundational skills for life, like reading. 

Outside of her classroom, Houpt engages parents in those experiences, too. Her kids have a happy second home in the school’s Whispering Woods, where they host monthly poetry reads for anyone who wants to attend.   

She says that success in the classroom doesn’t always come easy– and credits longtime team member Amy Simonds for being at the center of her support system. “Amy and I really know the age level and what does and doesn’t work for children in first grade. To have someone who I can go to with any question really helps,” Houpt noted. 

Beaver added that their collaboration is an exemplar for collective efficacy. “They support each other, but also know that they are going to make a difference because of their combined strengths.”

Houpt was nominated for the FMFCU Award by PES parent Kristin O’Neill. 

According to O’Neill, “Kelli has an incredible ability to make everyone around her feel valued.” She added, “As my son’s confidence grew under Kelli’s guidance, so did his character and academic accomplishments.” 

"Mrs. Houpt makes me feel happy and excited about everything," said O’Neill’s son, Griffin. 

In addition to pride, her prize includes $1,000 for her classroom and $1,000 for her school. 

“I always tell my kids that it only takes a minute to make someone feel good. And it felt good to be appreciated for the job that I do,” Houpt reflected. 

At Hillendale Elementary School (HES), Technology Specialist Todd Picard also received an FMFCU grant recently to purchase LEGO Learning System Sets. 

For more information on FMFCU awards and grants, please visit the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Foundation website