SPS Names Teacher of the Year Finalists

Springfield Public Schools has announced the five teachers who will be battling it out to be the 2021 Teacher of the Year.

The five finalists will be recognized at the August banquet honoring teachers held by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools. Over 220 nominations were received for the award, and 107 of those nominated provided a committee with their teaching philosophy to be considered for the award.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced in a few weeks.

The five nominees, along with their philosophy, are:

Shannon Bossing, Harrison Elementary, Fourth Grade Teacher

Teaching and learning are not black and white or yes and no.  There is much “gray” when it comes to best meeting the individual needs of children.  I must take all I know about child development, learning standards, differentiation, etc. and set that to the side and really look at that one child.  What does he need?  How can I specifically help her?

Betsy Cannella, Kickapoo High School, Science Teacher

I believe that teachers should be a guide for students; a facilitator that can allow them to explore opportunities to create success while engaging their talents and giving them a space to discover their identities.  A teacher should be the one who inspires their progress, not dictate their journey.

Armando Johnson, Central High School, Spanish Teacher

I truly believe that all students learn in different ways, at different paces.  Each day I work to provide that different way to each student.  I work to help connect students to the world outside of the classroom by providing them with a vast array of cultural knowledge.  I teach to make positive and productive students, citizens, and family members.

Cary Sikes, Gray Elementary, Fourth Grade Teacher

Students face more challenges today than when I began teaching.  As an educator, the most important thing I can do is to let students know I care about them and that they are important to me.   I believe wholeheartedly in the power of connectedness.  I must find a way to connect to every student.  Those relationships are a vital part of the classroom and must extend to the families of the children I serve.

Michelle Slominsky, Sequiota Elementary, Kindergarten Teacher

I believe that within each child lies a unique potential.  I see it as my job to help children discover and to foster this potential.  I have the opportunity to shape a child’s lifelong view of school.  I want my students to leave my classroom more confident, more curious and more passionate about learning than when they arrived.

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