Sara Medalen was nominated by her principal, Cindy Cook.
"I've worked with Ms. Medalen for the past 19 years and have always been impressed by her passion for teaching and learning, as well as her compassion for children," said Cook. "She is an exceptional Title I teacher who has used her position to make an impact on the lives of hundreds of students and staff."
Ms. Medalen sees each child as a puzzle and lovingly brings the pieces together to create a beautiful picture. Her gift to children is that she allows them to see a glimpse of the picture and find the beauty in themselves. She empowers children by teaching them about reading, math, and how to become lifelong learners. Ms. Medalen takes time to develop positive relationships with students and respects each child’s individual needs and learning styles. She is empathetic, yet maintains high expectations for each child.
As a Title I teacher, her role includes communicating with staff frequently to discuss student concerns and progress. She works closely with teachers to coordinate interventions and is highly respected by staff and parents. She is continually working to create a caring, respectful environment by modeling the behaviors that she expects from staff and students.
Ms. Medalen is always willing to try something new or spend the extra time in order to make a connection with students. Her latest adventure is opening a shop called "Books and Braids." She has been a CLC tutor for many years and has recently created a morning reading group. Children can make an appointment to see her in her “shop”. They spend several minutes reading to her while she braids their hair. This provides some tender loving care that can make any child’s day.
"Teaching is a high-energy and often stressful position, but Sara knows the value of taking care of herself," Cook said. "She is able to come to work every day ready to care for others because she takes care of herself. She models a healthy lifestyle for others by spending time teaching muscle pump class, enjoying time with friends and valuing the moments with her family. It is a privilege to nominate Sara for this award."