AGS- Teacher Recognized by Pitt State
On Tuesday morning at Altamont Grade School, Kindergarten teacher, Teresa Leake was notified through an all school assembly that she had been awarded The “PITSCO Educator of the Game” from Pittsburg University. Leake’s kindergarten students paraded through the gym to present Mrs. Leake with a carnation from each student to help celebrate this honor.
Mrs. Leake was nominated by her administrator, Mrs. Tiffany Flatt at the beginning of September. In the nomination letter, Flatt wrote, the following:
Sept. 12, 2017
It is with great pleasure that I send to you a nomination for a teacher from Altamont Grade School, Mrs. Teresa Leake. I am a new administrator to Altamont Grade and new to the 506 family, but what I quickly learned from visiting, observing, listening and learning from Mrs. Leake is that she is an exceptional individual and an outstanding teacher. I hope after you read this, you will seriously consider honoring Mrs. Leake as the “Educator of the Game”!
This summer as I began to meet with my new teachers, I was invited up to the Altamont fireworks stand the end of July. Mrs. Leake and her family each year open the one and only firework stand in Altamont. They sit up there for many hours and long days for a week or so before the 4th of July to sell fireworks to the locals. So I went to the fireworks stand and we visited. What I learned from getting to know Mrs. Leake is that her family donates much of the money that they make to our school. She wants the money to go towards the kids and things that they may want or need. This year her family gave the school close to $1300.00. Also during our conversation at the fireworks stand, Mrs. Leake shared with me that every summer she teaches at the local community college young, aspiring teachers. She said she does it because of her passion for education. She does it because she wants college students to follow their passion and after 18+ years of teaching, she still has this passion. As we wrapped up on conversation that morning, Mrs. Leake invited me to come along with her, as every summer after she gets her class list, Mrs. Leake makes a special visit to the homes of all of her kindergarteners before school to meet them all and tell them about her classroom and how excited she is to have them in her classroom. During this conversation, it was clear that I was going to start school with a “Rock Star” Kindergarten teacher! And she did not disappoint.
Throughout the month of August Mrs. Leake would be up at the school busily preparing her classroom and her lessons for her 25, 5 year olds. As I would stop by, colleagues around the district would come by to seek advice and feedback on ideas, lessons or projects. She met each person with a kind and welcoming spirit. One that says, "I love my babies! I am a teacher!"
The first day of school she met each kindergartener with a smile that could light up any dark space. Her energy and passion was evident and she made it look seamless. Mrs. Leake comes to me often with ideas or thoughts. She seeks advice from her colleagues and her students’ parents. Her mind is always thinking about her students and what she can do to engage them, assist them with their social emotional behavior and to consistently build that stronger relationship. Mrs. Leake is always positive. She always looks to the positive side and the professional side of everything she does. She is an excellent example of professionalism.
So as you can see, I learned a lot about Mrs. Leake from meeting her at the fireworks stand, but to be honest, the fireworks are really happening in her classroom. When the children are greeted in the morning their eyes light up, just light little sparklers. When I am in her classroom, you can see the students’ little minds bursting as they learn something that Mrs. Leake has just taught them. They are excited to learn and their energy lights up the room much like a firework.
You can learn a lot from a firework stand! Please consider Mrs. Leake as “Educator of the Game”.
Mrs. Leake and her family will attend the home game on Saturday, Sept. 23 where PSU will take on Lindenwood University. The University will present Mrs. Leake with a $500 check during pre-game on the football field. Her family will be with her to celebrate this award. Mrs. Leake will receive 2 tickets to the game and will sit in the PITSCO Skybox.
Teresa received both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s degree from PSU. She and her husband, Jack live in Altamont, KS with their high school son Jack Jr. They also have 2 grown children, Ashley and Austin and have one grandchild.