South Side Early Learning teacher Mrs. Thia Thissen is awarded $3,000 through the Walter & Marian English Awards Fund of The Columbus Foundation

For Immediate Release

Columbus, OH -

The Walter & Marian English Awards Fund of The Columbus Foundation awarded South Side Early Learning Lead Teacher, Thia Thissen, $3,000 to be used for training purposes over the next two years. The Foundation makes this award to those in the Columbus community who demonstrate a strong commitment to the field of human services through the provision of direct services to individuals and/or families.


Mrs. Thia joined the South Side Early Learning staff in 1992. Since then, she has made it her effort to support those students and families in the most need. With support from the Walter & Marian English Awards Fund of The Columbus Foundation, she plans to continue her training in special education and cognitive science. As the number of children with special needs has increased in our school—from 25% in 2013 to 46% in 2018—Mrs. Thia hopes to use her training to continue to refine her practice and serve the South Side community.

Thia says, "I am so humbled that I was even nominated. I come to serve our children and families every day because this is what I love to do. This award validates that little girl deep inside of me that felt like she was never enough."

SSEL is proud to have such a dedicated teacher as part of our SSEL Family. Thia has been tireless in her efforts to help the South Side community - treating the children and families with kindness, respect, and awareness for their needs. She is loved and respected by many and we are gratified that this recognition has been awarded to someone so deserving.

About South Side Early Learning:

Mission: To ensure every young child benefits from a holistic, high-quality early education.

Vision: We are passionately committed to lead the partnerships, best practices and performance that maximize a child's first 2,000 days.