Sunday, July 15, 2007

Teacher of the year stands out after 32 years of service

It’s not every day that Milton Elementary speech therapist, Mrs. Barbara Winson-Riedel is given the best teacher of the year award by the Jefferson school board. But it is every day that she feels like the luckiest teacher in the world, “I’m so privileged to have this job—it’s quite an experience to work with handicapped children.”

On June 18th during a school board administration meeting, Mrs. Winson-Riedel (formally just Ms. Riedel, she recently got married), received the prestigious award from the school board after colleagues nominated her for her stellar work with preschool disabled, three, four, and five, and kindergarten disabled, four, five, and six.

One of the people who gladly nominated her was Angie Carney, the school nurse who has many times watched on as Mrs. Winson-Riedel taught her classes.

“You can see her success with the kids. It’s measurable,” says nurse Carney, who has known Mrs. Winson-Riedel for the past 12 years of her service at the school. “She’s dedicated to the children.”

Mrs. Winson-Riedel, a Montclair St. alum who has worked in Jefferson for the past thirty-two years, attributes her work with the kids as a one on one experience that she calls, “a journey.”

“Whatever I’m doing is good,” said Mrs. Winson-Riedel, who received the message that she was the best teacher of the year from her Principal, Tim Plotts, a couple of months ago.

“She’s a constant professional,” says Principal Plotts who also nominated Mrs. Winson-Riedel for her service with the school. “The way that she takes every student and empowers them to want to speak…she’s outstanding.”

Nurse Carney also adds that it’s not only how hard she works but also the way she works that’s been so effective in the past.

“It’s all how she runs the program,” says Nurse Carney, who says Mrs. Winson-Riedel teaches every child specific to their needs. “There are 30 to 35 children in each class [and she gets] very personal [with them].”

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