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(The following information and photos appeared in the October 22, 2002 Edition of the St. Albans Messenger)

OUTSTANDING TEACHERS

2002

The 22nd Annual Vermont outstanding Teachers Day will be held at the University of Vermont on Wednesday, October 23, 2002. The UVM event, including keynote speaker and UVM President Dan Fogel, honors the best teachers in the state with certificates of appreciation. Among the 10 teachers chosen from Franklin County are Tammy Boissoneault and Al Daniels of Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax, Vermont


TAMMY BOISSONEAULT

Bellows Free Academy - Fairfax

Subject(s) and/or Grade level taught: I teach a third and fourth grade multi-age classroom

Educational background: St. Albans High School; Trinity College, BA in Elementary Education and Math and Science

Family information: I am married...my husband, Jeff and I have two children -. a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. We all live on a dairy farm on Lake Road in St. Albans.

Town of residence: St. Albans Town

When did you know you would be a teacher and how or why was it that you made that decision? I knew I'd become a teacher at a young age. My great-grandmother and MaTante Delorse were both teachers and positive influences in my decision on becoming an educator. They often shared their joy of learning and their love of books with me throughout my childhood. I admire their passion of learning and love of children. I enjoyed listening to their classroom stories and dreamed of one day being able to share my own stories with them, and in the past ten years, I've acquired many!

From where do you gather the inspiration to be a successful educator? I'm fortunate to be working with colleagues that share a common vision to support student success and professional development. I'm inspired by my student's eagerness to learn and their individual growth both socially and academically each year. They challenge me to do and be my best each day.

What are the guiding principles that you take into the class-room with you every day (what is your philosophy of educa-tion)? The guiding principle I take into my classroom every day is the idea that each child is an unique individual. I appreciate and understand the diversity of learning styles within my classroom community. The Responsive Classroom philosophy is the foundation of my social curriculum which allows me to meet each child's academic needs. I value parent collaboration and I have high standards for myself and students Most importantly, you have to have heart! I love what I do.

What advice would you offer to a new, or discouraged, teacher? The best advice I received from a colleague and would pass on to new teachers is -- take one day at a time, ask questions, you're not alone and enjoy your students!

My students are...amazing!


AL DANIELS

Bellows Free Academy - Fairfax

Subject(s) and/or Grade level taught: Science and Social Studies in Grade 6

Educational background: Bachelor's degree from Johnson State College

Family information: Three children -- Amy is 23 and is a clinical dietician in Boston; Sara is 25 and also teaches at B.F.A.; and Jim is 27 and teaches at Mount Mansfield Union.

Town of residence: Fairfax

When did you know you would be a teacher and how or why was it that you made that decision? I had many enjoyable experiences growing up close in age with seventeen nieces and nephews. Children have always been a part of my life. It was easy realizing that being an educator would allow this to continue.

From where do you gather the inspiration to be a successful educator? My inspiration comes from my favorite teacher, Mr Brown, when I was in sixth grade and the many colleagues that I have observed and worked with during my career. Pat Nilsson, my teammate at BFA, particularly has inspired me.

What advice would you offer to a new, or discouraged, teacher? You have the most challenging, yet rewarding job that exists. Search your heart about why you are doing this and realize that everything you do should be for the good of your students --don't let other things interfere. Focus on what you know is best and get good advice.

My students are the most precious resources on earth