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Educators Recognized for Excellence in Early Childhood Education During National Teacher Appreciation Week

The Goddard School® Announces National Teacher of the Year Honorees

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School, held its sixth annual “Teacher of the Year” competition in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7th – 11th, and has selected four exceptional early childhood educators for recognition.

“For the past six years, GSI has received numerous outstanding nominations for our Teacher of the Year competition. Each year, we are absolutely impressed with the phenomenal projects our Goddard School teachers are implementing,” said Sue Adair, GSI Director of Education. “Chosen from more than 8,000 Goddard School teachers, we are honored to have these four educators as a part of our system and we are thrilled to recognize them for their accomplishments.”

GSI received “Teacher of the Year Award” nominations from all across the country, including those from Goddard School owners and education directors as well as recommendations from parents, peers and, in some cases even children.  In addition to the recognition, the teachers received a cash prize and a gift package from GSI.

The Goddard School “Teacher of the Year” honorees each developed ongoing projects that benefit their classrooms, schools and communities. The following teachers were honored:

Beckie Comeau developed a Lending Library to help encourage early literacy and accelerate reading at home. Comeau, a pre-kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Auburn, MA, developed the idea after several children asked to borrow books from the school’s “exploration room.”  The children were so excited and eager to borrow books and this was a natural progression.  After receiving donated books from families and other programs, the Lending Library has become an anticipated weekly event that takes place in six of the school’s nine classrooms.  Children are encouraged to choose a book to borrow, they receive a “due date” stamp and then take the book home.  Best of all, the Lending Library has helped busy parents and families spend more time together and to share the love of reading.

Megan Kellie of The Goddard School located in Oxford, MI, implemented a Buddy Program between the preschool and kindergarten classes.  Her motivation was to help build the children’s confidence and prevent bullying.  The project pairs a kindergarten child with a preschool “buddy” and the two classes come together to participate in various activities with their buddies.  The kindergarteners read stories to their buddies, and the two classes have made Valentines and art projects for each other.  The older children have an opportunity to be positive role models, and the younger children gain confidence from their older peers’ examples.

Morgan Cooper of The Goddard School located in Horsham, PA, developed the Growing a Healthy Future program in her First Steps classroom. The goal of this program was to immerse the children in hands-on gardening activities that build upon developing motor skills, independence and fostering a love of nature. Throughout the year, the children engage in several gardening activities and participate by filling garden beds with soil, planting and watering seeds, observing the plants grow, watching insects enjoy the plants, harvesting their crops and finally “cooking” with them in the healthy eating program.  The garden beds are altered each season to grow appropriate plants and healthy food.  Mini lessons are prepared each week that include gardening and its connection with nature, health, food, science and family life.

Robin Coatney created the Daisy the Deer program to further a school/home connection as well as parent involvement.  A preschool class teacher at The Goddard School located in Parker, CO, Coatney strongly encourages the involvement of the parents in her classroom as well as others by having Daisy the Deer as an ongoing inclusive outside family project.  The project was started to welcome families into the classroom and encourage them to partner with The Goddard School to promote the involvement of academics at home.  Children in Coatney’s classroom have the opportunity to participate by taking “Daisy” home for the weekend.  When “Daisy” returns, the children share stories about her adventures with their family.