Cassie Smith was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous.
Ms. Smith is an outstanding educator, professional and colleague! One visit to her classroom proves she is a natural teacher who is full of ideas to promote learning. She has unending energy, an infectious smile, and a belief that all people (children and adults) have value and a purpose on this earth.
Ms. Smith is a highly effective teacher who came to Flintstone Elementary School twelve years ago. Since her arrival, she has taught kindergarten and second grades, with second grade being her favorite! Ms. Smith's classroom is an invigorating environment with high expectations for all students, no matter their ability. All children are engaged in learning and are interacting with one another as they problem solve and apply skills that will make them successful as they proceed through their education and in life.
In 2016-17, Ms. Smith was a finalist for her district's Teacher of the Year award and was also selected as the VFW Teacher of the Year by the Oldtown Post. She earned this recognition due to her focus on teaching children to be respectful, responsible citizens. Her students work daily to follow rules which they helped to develop, problem solve when a situation/incident may arise, and resolve the issue through discussion and consequences that are appropriate for second graders. Through self-monitoring their behaviors, these students have taken responsibility for keeping themselves safe and being aware of positive interactions with their peers. This is an amazing feat for children of this age.
As a staff member, Ms. Smith is a leader in her school. She serves as a co-chair of the Student Achievement Team, where she is responsible for monitoring academic standards and school improvement goals to improve instructional techniques at all grade levels. Her team also is responsible for creating incentive programs to encourage children to read independently and participate in math challenges. Ms. Smith leads this group monthly and shares information with the entire staff so all are working toward common goals. Other professional responsibilities include leading a staff book study to learn more about literacy, attending state summer conferences on early childhood/child development, and active participation at school and district level inservices throughout the year. Ms. Smith is a life long learner, always seeking to improve upon her teaching and to learn more about early childhood. She is fascinated by studies related to brain research!
"I have the privilege of visiting this second grade classroom at any time," said the nominator. "It is a welcoming atmosphere where I quickly become engaged in learning and interactions with the children. As a former second grade teacher, I am in awe of Cassie's skills/ideas and learn so much about teaching young learners. I wish I had had the opportunity to work with her as a second grade colleague to benefit from her expertise and genuine concern, as well as her selflessness and professionalism. Cassie is an amazing person!"