WDC teacher honored by NJPA
Wadena-Deer Creek second-grade teacher Vicki Smith was honored last night at the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) Teachers of Excellence Awards Banquet for making a difference for students and contributing to the education profession.
Mrs. Smith was honored for being an outstanding mentor for new staff at WDC, an excellent teacher and coach, and for demonstrating her continual improvement in the profession by always learning about how to become even better. She has led her colleagues in a variety of school improvement initiatives. Furthermore, students have benefitted from her work in countless ways, such as becoming better readers with her modeling of reading strategies and gradual release of responsibility.
“Her supportive instructional stance has given students the confidence to take risks they may not otherwise take,” said Louis Rutten, principal at WDC Elementary. “Her empathy and concern for others is apparent in her classroom and her students continue to demonstrate these character traits as well. They are truly fortunate to have her as their teacher.”
Mrs. Smith has taught at WDC Elementary for the past 19 ½ years and has been teaching a total of 24 ½ years. She said she was “very humbled” to receive the Teachers of Excellence Award. At the banquet, she said she was “inspired” by the outstanding teachers in the area who provide our children with a great education. She was also grateful to have WDC Supt. Lee Westrum there to support her at the banquet. Mrs. Smith is retiring from teaching this year.
A total of 52 teachers from 13 school districts were honored. NJPA is a service cooperative that provides support for schools, counties and cities in Todd, Wadena, Morrison, Cass and Crow Wing counties. It is located in Staples.