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Thursday, April 30, 2009
Susan Kraft Almeida honored
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Seven District 196 employees were recognized for their outstanding service to students and residents of the district at this year’s Partners in Education banquet held April 16 at Eagan High School.
The District 196 Outstanding Service Award recipients for 2008-09 are Susan Almeida, first-grade teacher at Highland Elementary School, etc.
First-Grade Teacher, Highland Elementary School
Background in District 196
For 22 years, Susan Almeida has been helping students learn at elementary schools throughout District 196. There’s her class of first graders at Highland Elementary School who benefit directly from Almeida’s teaching. But there are also many other elementary students learning from teachers who have benefitted from her knowledge of curriculum and instruction shared through her work on numerous district committees. Almeida started teaching at Diamond Path in 1985, then went to Highland and Greenleaf, then to Tennessee for her husband’s job transfer before returning to Highland in 1999, where she has taught first grade ever since.
About the Job
Almeida stresses the importance of teaching the “whole child” and remembering that academics are only one part of teaching. “The social and emotional development of children is just as important as their academic needs,” she said. “They need to feel good about themselves and confident in what they can do.” The challenge, she said, is to give an “extra boost” to the students who lack self-esteem and confidence. “Many times it’s just showing them a little more attention or finding out their interests and building upon that to guide them in the right direction.”
Rewards and Secrets to Success
“The rewards come from watching each child grow and develop over the year,” Almeida said. “You look back at the end of the year and think, ‘Wow, look where they are now.’ Of course, with the younger ones, big hugs and (statements like) ‘You’re the best teacher’ help, too.”
What Others Say
“Susan’s answer is always ‘yes’ when approached by others for assistance. She willingly and with enthusiasm takes upon extra tasks to help her classroom, teaching team, school building or district. She is a true team player who will go above and beyond to help others.”
- Theresa Granger, Highland Elementary School first-grade teacher
“Susan is an excellent instructor. Her room has a wonderful learning climate that provides for a wide range of students. I know any child can be successful in her classroom because she treats every child with dignity and respect.”
- Chad Ryburn, Highland Elementary School principal
“In Susan’s case her outstanding work has reached beyond her classroom and school to a district level, in an effort to improve learning for all elementary students. Susan possesses the enviable skill of seeing the big picture and keeping in mind what would be best for all students and all teachers.”
- Kris Samsel, teacher on special assignment, elementary curriculum
Our CONGRATULATIONS to Sue for a job well done, you make US look good Suzie!
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