We received so many amazing stories about your favorite Goddard School teachers. Submissions are now closed, and the 2023 winners will be announced in May!

Meet Our 2022 Grand Prize Winner

Ms. Bassett Gaithersburg, MD | Kindergarten

Ms. Bassett has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of students and families throughout her tenure at our School. If you stop by her classroom, you'll see active, on-level engagement; hugs; enthusiastic read alouds; passionate instruction; and a beautifully crafted learning environment. She is shaping her students to be lifelong learners, problem solvers and compassionate citizens. Ms. Bassett became the School-wide American Sign Language (ASL) instructor and eventually worked with a co-teacher to align ASL with the Spanish language enrichment program. 

During the pandemic, Ms. Bassett was instrumental in developing an effective distance learning program for hundreds of students who remained at home. Her bravery and leadership helped her colleagues feel inspired to serve on the frontlines and break out of their comfort zone by getting in front of the camera. Ms. Bassett worked around the clock creating hundreds of video lessons and corresponding take-home bags and supplies. She also held daily group and individual virtual lessons, assessments and parent-teacher conferences.

Eastern Region Winners

Ms. Jennifer Forest Hill, MD | Infant

Ms. Jennifer is an amazing educator who creates strong bonds with the children in her care and instills comfort and confidence in their parents and families. She loves creating unique lesson plans for her littlest learners and is kind, nurturing and extremely attentive.

During the pandemic she sent materials to her families on how to use American Sign Language to enhance learning during those challenging times. She is also helping the entire School prepare for national accreditation. On top of this, many of the School’s staff members go to Ms. Jen for advice on classroom management or child development best practices, which speaks volumes about her skills and character.

Ms. Lisa Marlboro (Morganville), NJ | Toddler

Ms. Lisa is a kind, loving educator whose innovative and experienced teaching style helps children reach their greatest potential. She treats each child as an individual and knows just how to support them so their needs are met.

Her classroom is well organized and routine-based where she shares expectations and consistently reinforces them. This creates a safe place for the children and allows them to really be themselves. Lisa provides an exceptional educational experience — her lessons are well-thought out and engaging. Ms. Lisa is constantly finding new and innovative ways to spark the children's curiosity, and students are encouraged to use their imaginations and critical thinking skills as they explore a wide variety of concepts.

Ms. Amanda Lithia (FishHawk), FL | Pre-K

Ms. Amanda’s students love going to school every day because of her engaging teaching style and fun, hands-on lessons! Her students participate in interest-based projects, which helps them better relate to topics to solidify what they’re learning.

So many of Ms. Amanda’s former students have breezed through kindergarten thanks to her skillful approach to teaching. Ms. Amanda also serves as the curriculum coordinator for the School. She supports all the teachers in creating lessons and helps them implement enrichment programs in their class, including Chess at Three and Learning without Tears. She's also brought in new programs like Play on Words Kid Therapy, which is a program that helps detect potential early signs of developmental delays.

Central Region Winners

Ms. Britney Pleasant Prairie, WI | Infant

Ms. Britney is a nurturing, empathetic educator whose detailed observations, immense knowledge of infant development and open communication helps build amazing bonds between children and the families she serves!

Ms. Britney’s students flourish in her classroom. They work on important developmental skills through hands-on learning whether it’s playing in sensory bins or making arts and crafts. Parents also commend Ms. Britney for noticing when things may be off with their babies, such as discomfort from teething. She documents everything and provides parents with detailed information and resources.

Ms. Nora Darien, IL | Toddler

Ms. Nora is a kind, loving educator whose empathetic teaching style helps children recognize and understand their emotions and the emotions of others. She expertly turns everyday interactions in the classroom into teachable moments to help her students practice what they’re learning.

Not only is Ms. Nora active and engaged in the classroom, but she’s part of her School’s teacher resource team. She represents the teachers and collaborates with leadership to help make sure everyone who enters the School has the best possible experience. Ms. Nora has been seen as a leader ever since she started. She is always ready for the day with a smile and is a prepared, professional, empathetic team player.

Ms. Jennifer Pleasant Prairie, WI | Pre-K

Ms. Jennifer is a creative teacher who knows how to engage children in meaningful learning! Not only does she spend so much time developing hands-on lesson plans, but she also tends to our organic garden, helps organize and maintain multiple classrooms and provides extended learning opportunities for the families of her students.

She is a fantastic educator whose classroom is always fun and productive. She’s passionate about her profession and continuing her education. Ms. Jennifer is also the head of the School’s Sunshine Committee where she helps provide a positive atmosphere for all of her coworkers by remembering birthdays, anniversaries and planning employee events.

Ms. Albina Mason, OH | Kindergarten

Ms. Albina knows how to make her students feel loved, cherished and valued. When children have a tough moment, she’s the first to hug them and remind them how special they are, and she encourages them to seek their full potential by helping them develop a positive mindset.

Ms. Albina goes above and beyond with her commitment to her students and their families. She gets to know her students’ families, which means younger siblings know and love her, too! Parents, who also happen to be teachers, praise Ms. Albina for being a shining light during the challenges of the global pandemic.

Western Region Winners

Ms. Teisha Clackamas (Happy Valley), OR | Infant

Ms. Teisha is a nurturing and compassionate educator who truly loves every child in her care as her own. She puts families at ease and supports them through the tough transition from home to school.

Ms. Teisha shows all of the children in her class the compassion, empathy and warmth you would expect from a parent and provides families thoughtful and meaningful daily updates about their children’s day and developmental achievements. She listens to all parents’ requests or concerns and provides them with meaningful feedback and suggestions based on her experience and time with their children. Ms. Teisha does a beautiful job creating an environment and experience for children that really fosters a love of school for children and their families.

Ms. Jennifer Lewisville (Castle Hills), TX | Toddler

Ms. Jennifer’s students have so much fun in her class that they often aren’t ready to leave at the end of the day! She’s a calm, gentle educator who makes every child feel safe, loved and supported.

She’s an expert in early childhood development and teaches her students important social-emotional skills, which parents always comment on! They love how sociable their toddlers have become and that they’re learning mutual respect. Ms. Jennifer provides families with insightful feedback during parent teacher conferences or during drop off and pick up. She highlights children’s developments in a positive way, addreses all concerns and always reassures parents that their children are doing great.

Ms. Valerie Keller, TX | Preschool

Ms. Valerie is a patient, empathetic teacher who excels at encouraging students to always do their best. She offers challenging work but is always right there ready to help them succeed.

She loves to sing songs in French during activity transitions and teaches her students Spanish during circle time. Ms. Valerie incorporates learning into day-to-day interactions with her students so that they not only retain the lesson but know how to apply it in real life. She loves each student as her own and encourages them to be who they are. Ms. Valerie offers lots of positive reinforcement, praises students as they improve and guides them through their struggles. 

Mr. Steven San Ramon, CA | School age

Mr. Steven is a passionate, dedicated educator who works tirelessly to ensure that his students are engaged in learning every day. He personalizes his lesson plans to meet the needs and interests of the children in his class. 

He worked with the administrative team and teachers to develop a health and fitness program tailored to the needs and capabilities of his students. During the summer, Mr. Steven runs the summer camp program for school-age children, which includes activities like nature hikes to promote a love of the outdoors. Mr. Steven and his programs are so popular that parents are willing to drive out of their way to get to the School or re-schedule vacations so their children can attend his class or summer program.

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