Schools Choose Teacher of the Year

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Kate Sweeney

Kate Sweeney, who works at Spaulding School as a Literary/Reading Specialist is the 2021-2022 Suffield Teacher of the Year (TOY). Kate started working at Spaulding in 2016 and enjoys working at the school, both with the students and staff.

She was surprised and humbled by the nomination. A TOY candidate is nominated by a colleague. If more than one candidate is nominated from each school, a determination is made to chose one of the nominees, and one name from each school is sent to the TOY Committee. Each candidate interviews with the committee and there are observations in the candidate’s classroom.

Other nominees were: from McAlister Intermediate School – Danielle Bennett, from Suffield Middle School – Lorie Hunt, and from Suffield High School – Melanie Brown. After the TOY choice is made, it’s kept a secret until the day of the award presentation.

In May, the district held an outdoor ceremony to present the Teacher of the Year award. Kate’s family, friends and colleagues were invited to share the excitement and surprise for the winner.

Kate was previously a kindergarten teacher, and her job as a Literacy/Reading Specialist is different from being a classroom teacher as she is often working in different classrooms with students on different grade levels. She has always been passionate about teaching kids to read and knew that this was one way she could help struggling readers. Kate believes each student is unique and that he/she learns in a variety of different ways, and she works to help each child find the way that fits him/her. She collaborates with classroom teachers on reading strategies and sharing ideas, and has offered professional development opportunities, as well.

Kate loves Spaulding School. She speaks of the students being “our kids” and commends the hard-working and dedicated staff, including academic support. She also appreciates the supportive community and parents.

Kate lives in Simsbury with her family. She loves to read, hike, spend time with her three kids and relax on the beach at Cape Cod.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and congratulations to Kate on this well-deserved honor.

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