Emily Daub of Rockford has taught at Kindergarten at Ellis the past three of her 12 years of teaching. Emily has found that in teaching how to retell stories, “using LEGOS to construct the setting and characters has proven to be a more engaging way to assess student learning and provides so much observational data. Students are working on fine motor skills, collaborating with peers, utilizing social skills and communication, in addition to developing their understanding of a story retell.” She adds, “thinking outside the box when providing students with engaging activities and opportunities, I have seen their thinking and communication about learning explode.” Additionally, literacy coach, Dr. Amy Huftalin, wrote us that, “very few teachers know how to teach writing. Emily can. With kindergarteners. Her students make incredible growth because of her dedication, persistence and knowledge of developmental stages.” Ellis students may live with obstacles such as poverty, homelessness, incarceration, hunger, instability, drugs, weapons and domestic violence at home. Emily shared, “From not having school supplies to behavioral outbursts stemming from trauma, our children carry many weights … My students may not have monogrammed bath towels or have been to many places outside of our community, but they have the right to learn to read and write.” Maria Hardy, Title 1 Interventionist, guarantees, “anyone who walks into Emily Daub’s classroom will be blown away, amazed and moved by her extraordinary gift to lead a classroom full of busy, curious little learners.” After observing a class, a retired Golden Apple teacher agreed, writing, “Emily definitely has children with diverse learning and behavioral needs. The beauty is that one has a hard time telling who those children are because Emily manages her room so well.” She added, “The energy and enthusiasm from both Emily and her students was contagious”!