Get to Know Our 20 Finalists!
Laura Johnson of Roscoe has taught the last two of her 10 years of teaching at Rockford’s Nashold Early Childhood Center. She taught at Maple Elementary, Rolling Green and Summerdale previously. Principal, Erin Salberg shared, “last year, Laura received a student functioning at a sixth month age equivalent. Despite having a challenging class already, she took the challenge head on. This student has made huge gains. Laura provides every student in her classroom the same level of support based on their unique needs.” In recommending Laura, another co-worker added that Laura is determined and persistent when dealing with challenges with classroom, building or department level issues, but that the trait that makes her stand out is humor. “She has the ability to find ways to smile, laugh and connect on a highly positive and personal level with our most at-risk population of students whose lives have been characterized by frequent trauma, regret, inappropriate living conditions, violence, transiency, instability, poverty and lack of enriching life experience opportunities. This ability to foster positive, meaningful, and trusting relationships with her students and their families is what opens the door for learning.” Laura says she is committed to creating a safe, loving atmosphere both inside her classroom and the greater school. “My commitment, as an educator, to create a positive classroom environment leaves my students with a warm and welcome feeling, readying them to tackle any and all of the day’s challenges. My students may not remember everything they learned the day before, but they are eager to come back because of ‘that feeling’ they left with and because they know they will receive more of ’that feeling’ when they return.”