I'm nominating Mrs. Lisa R. as "Best of US" Educator. She is an amazing teacher going well beyond the basic curriculum. Her job is already more challenging than most teachers, in that she teaches an advanced level of gifted & talented children who have been tested and are considered profoundly intelligent. These children have special needs to leverage their individual strengths and she provides an environment that encourages yet sets boundaries and discipline to help them manage and focus their energies.
Mrs. R. teaches the kids 'life lessons' with tough love and she encourages kids to be responsible, independent thinkers, building confidence in them and earning their respect for her. She also instills in the kids an appreciation and love for the country, state & community along with the importance of good citizenship and giving back. She invests in our children with her personal involvement and ongoing feedback to both the children & families (e.g. personally reads all the kids' writing journals every week and provides personal notes, comments & feedback on each entry). And, her passion for teaching as well as passion for reading & writing overflows to the kids in everything she does.
Mrs. R. works not only the long days of teaching, but late nights prepping for the next day or even enrichment opportunities for the kids, like arranging for a sign language teacher to teach the kids signing prior to a special opportunity to connect with a class of hearing-impaired students via Skype from across the US. A teacher like Mrs. R. who really cares about each individual child is rare as she encourages many of these overachievers to maximize their potential and to responsibly manage their talents and gifts. Mrs. R. is a confident professional, yet also has a true humble servant attitude. She is a blessing and inspiration to not only the children, but the entire family, school and our community!