Outstanding Educator – May 4, 2016

Each year Beechwood admits 10 students into our Kinderprep class. In addition to their tremendous cuteness, they come to us with a ton of energy and many needs. These youngest members of our community (and their families) are indeed fortunate: their teacher for their first year will be Mrs. Veronica Elias.

On Thursday evening, Mrs. Elias will become the third Beechwood teacher to receive Acknowledge Alliance’s “Outstanding Educator” award at a special fundraising dinner. Mrs. Elias will receive her award in front of her colleagues, an audience of donors and most importantly, her loving family.

From a Principal’s perspective, Mrs. Elias is the kind of teacher who is ideal in so many ways. She is kind and patient and reliable. She is constantly trying to find ways to get better at her job. She communicates effectively with parents, many of whom are dealing with the anxiety of being away from their children for the first time. She is a team player, always looking for ways that she can contribute beyond her classroom or support a fellow teacher. Most importantly, her sense of caring for her students runs very deep. She is committed in the truest sense of the word.

Don’t just take it from me.

Here is what our Resiliency Consultant Chris Chiochios said about Veronica in his tribute that he prepared in honor of her award: “When you walk into Veronica’s class, you can feel that it is much more than a ‘classroom.’ She is attuned to the social and emotional needs and challenges that many of her students bring into school, and is curious about the underlying meaning and purpose of students’ behaviors, especially when they are struggling in some way. She strives to provide the type of consistency and availability that her students need.”

Or her friend and mentor, former Beechwood Kindergarten teacher, Lois Holl: “She is very mindful of the fact that predictability is a key component of the classroom schedule, especially among our stressed family population.”

And finally, in her own words: “My natural ability to see a child’s basic needs allows me to interact with every child at his or her own level. This positively shapes their social and emotional integration with society and helps them develop new cognitive skills.”

Beechwood has many great teachers, none finer that Mrs. Elias. She inspires me every day. To stay positive. To work hard. To show appreciation. To take care of our children. Congratulations to a truly “outstanding educator.” Beechwood is filled with pride for all you have accomplished.

-Mr. Laurance