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Taylor County Educator of the Month

Currently, I’m enjoying my rookie year at Stetsonville Elementary School teaching/ working with kindergarten through fourth grade students and staff as a special education/ resource teacher. I am also apart-time instructor at North Central Technical College for the Medford Adult Diploma Academy. During summer school, I am known as ‘ the garden teacher’.

How long have you been an educator?

This is my 15th year teaching full-time in the Medford Area Public School District. Previously, I was a substitute teacher in area districts, worked for the Sylvan Learning Center in Rib Mountain, and was employed at Chilton Public Schools for seven years, working with CESA #7 as an elementary special education teacher and district/ CESA presenter. Grand total would be approximately 25 years employed in the education profession.

Who was your favorite/best teacher when you were a student and why?

I truly had wonderful teachers at every level of my educational journey. The teachers who left positive imprints, made personal connections with students in and out of the schools, had high expectations for all, gave assignment choices, and to this day, askmyparentsaboutme,wererolemodelsforme. Fellowstaffmembers,students andtheirfamilymembers,andcommunitymembers,of course, continue to be fantastic teachers on a daily basis, as they share problem-solving strategies, ways of thinking about topics, and an overall concern to assist individuals to grow to potentials.

Why did you choose this profession?

Reading, thinking, and learning were positive parts of my childhood. My family-valued education and encouraged us to take advantage of learningopportunities. Schoolprovidedanotherpositiveenvironmenttoencouragecuriosity. Variousschoolsettingswerepositiveplacesfor me, so I still aspire to give that to others.

What inspires you to continue as an educator?

My inspirational moments are concerts, musicals/plays, athletic events and other events in the schools and the community when I can observe a former student in his/her shining moment, whether speaking or singing in front of a group, reading a novel, playing on a team or joining a club activity. Having former students return for work-study placement or even employment in the district, is very rewarding. To see positive growth over time is incredibly inspiring!

What is your favorite memory as an educator?

Moments that bring me back to the core of my mission, to encourage life-long learning, are favorite memories. Spending recess in the garden exploring, seeing the excitement in a kindergartener’s eyes when he told me about his sunflower, hearing the pride in her voice as a third grader read to a former teacher, are all fabulous experiences as an educator. Fabulous memories include when a positive connection has been made, such as when a student wrote, “If you are in Mrs. Schumacher’s class, you can’t give up.”

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