As an advocate for Columbine students, I have been known to address erroneous assumptions in various settings. This award has given me the opportunity to reflect on both the power of my passion as an educator along with the strength of my students’ desire to learn. It is not only my teaching that is being acknowledged, but my students’ efforts and work as well. This honor adds credibility to my voice and will help me continue advocating for both second-language learners and children of poverty.

Susan Parsons Boulder, CO | K-6, Mathematics, 2010

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

For 22 years, Susan Parsons has taught in schools greatly impacted by both poverty and students learning a second language. For the last 12 years, her focus has been kindergarten through third grade at Columbine Elementary School in Colorado’s Boulder Valley School District. Sue recognizes that her students must learn not only mathematical content, but also the language of mathematics. Constantly innovating, she finds effective ways to deliver instruction and ensure understanding. Sue’s passion for her students has led her to pursue a better understanding of mathematics pedagogy, along with strategies to support second-language learners. She has completed every form of mathematics professional development the district has offered. She works closely with her mathematics coach to support her colleagues as they work to improve their practice and ability to monitor students' growth. Sue consistently volunteers to participate in mathematics lesson studies in her building and across the district. She is a member of multiple district and school committees. Sue has a B.A. in liberal studies, and a Multiple Subjects Credential, from Chico State University and a master's of curriculum and instruction, Bilingual-ESL Program, from the University of Colorado at Denver. Sue is certified in elementary education.

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