Rymfire Elementary's Teacher of the Year, Kate​ ​Sturman, rolls out the red carpet to celebrate student success

Sturman is a fifth-grade teacher this year.

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  • | 7:49 p.m. December 22, 2017
Kate Sturman gets ready to call on a student to answer a question. Photo by Paige Wilson
Kate Sturman gets ready to call on a student to answer a question. Photo by Paige Wilson
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Katherine Sturman is Rymfire Elementary's Teacher of the Year. Photo by Paige Wilson
Katherine Sturman is Rymfire Elementary's Teacher of the Year. Photo by Paige Wilson

Q: Why do you think you've been awarded Teacher of the Year?

A: I think I was awarded Teacher of the Year at Rymfire because my fellow teachers recognize my determination and hard work. It was announced at a faculty meeting by my principal, Mrs. Sauvelphakick. She read some quotes from the nominations. Some of them were:

“She is a cheerleader for her students.”

“Her students love her.”

“She is flexible since she had gone from 2nd grade to 6th grade to 5th grade.”

“She goes above and beyond for her students.”

“She is always volunteering to help in after-school activities.”

“She always has a positive attitude.”

Q: Why do you love teaching?

A: I love teaching for so many reasons! I have a blast with my students. In teaching, I am given the gift of inspiring and helping each child strive to their optimal potential. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a student blossom from a seed into a magnificent flower. What I do is so powerful and important. I get to be a teacher, a cheerleader, a superstar, an advocator, a friend, a hero and so much more for my students. I truly have the most rewarding job in the world.

Q: How long have you been teaching (at Rymfire specifically and in general?) What subject do you teach? What grade?

A: This is my 16th year of teaching. I began teaching in Volusia County. I taught first grade for three years at Friendship Elementary. I taught second grade for one year at Wadsworth Elementary,

This is my 12th year at Rymfire. I taught second grade for 10 years, sixth grade last year, and I am teaching fifth grade this year.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style? What's unique about you and your classroom that could have contributed to you earning Teacher of the Year?

A: My teaching style is to eventually become the facilitator. I have great respect for my students and want them to feel comfortable to give their best effort, even if that means making many mistakes along the way. Motivation is something that gives me inspiration. The minute the students walk into my classroom, I focus on how to get them to want to be there and want to succeed. If the students don’t feel comfortable and like they are able to succeed, they won’t. When that student who originally had no confidence starts to smile and wants to give their best effort, I feel like I have won the lottery. It then inspires me to want to give my best effort and give them tools and strategies they need. My classroom is unique in many ways. I have been known to do a cartwheel for my students when they achieve a goal. I enjoy singing, rapping and dancing with the students when learning. I focus on creating a positive classroom environment and reward the students with class cheers. We are always cheering each other on. I even have a red carpet in the classroom where students can walk and hear the hoots and hollers for their achievements. I want them all to feel like superstars.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add about earning Teacher of the Year that I didn't ask?

A: I just want to say that I am thrilled to be named Rymfire Elementary’s Teacher of the Year. Rymfire is such an incredible school with stellar teachers. This is truly the biggest honor.


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