Teacher & Para of the Year

It is with great honor that we congratulate Susan Brush as being selected as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year (TOY) for Wethersfield Public Schools! Sue joined Wethersfield Public schools in 2007 and has taught half day kindergarten, grade 3 and is currently a second grade teacher at Highcrest Elementary School. When asked, Sue Brush shared that her students are her biggest sense of pride.

Purposeful, compassionate, and responsive are three words that capture the essence of the magic that occurs in Sue Brush’s classroom to make it a special place. She continually strives to make her classroom a very special place for her students! She strives to make her classroom a mirror to her childhood experience. Since she was a small child, school and learning was a very special happy place for Sue Brush.

When nominated by one of her peers, they shared,

Sue does the near impossible everyday with her students. She plays to students’ strengths while being honest with them about their areas of focus and room for improvement. Sue is not content to have students merely repeat what they have heard or read or seen. She truely strives to achieve student understanding and application of concepts. Sue creates a classroom culture where students know that risk and failure are essential parents of learning and acquiring new skills and knowledge.

Sue is a highly effective teacher, reflective practitioner, and purposeful planner. She plans to use each and every minute of the day to enrich learning for the students in her class. Her peers consider her an advocate for students who is not afraid to voice her opinion to advocate for students and families. She is admired as a teacher, colleague, leader, learner, friend, mentor, and mother. Sue is so deserving of this award, yet she is so humble about the incredible impact she has on her students and their families. Please join us in congratulating Sue Brush as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year for Wethersfield Public Schools.

It is with great honor that we congratulate Ellen Last as being selected as the 2021-2022 Wethersfield Paraeducator of the Year (POY)!

She was nominated by a team of teachers from Samuel B. Webb Elementary School. In their nomination they shared:

Ellen Last dedicates herself entirely to her students. The moment her student comes off the bus, she is ready with a friendly greeting. She is a wonderful communicator who builds relationships with both her students and teammates through her friendly banter and thoughtful questions. She is a flexible thinker who is constantly assessing and tweaking the strategies she uses with her students. Ellen handles tricky situations with calm professionalism and takes time to process events and collaborate ideas, so that she is more prepared when that situation arises again. Ellen is one of the most dependable, trustworthy, and talented paraeducators!

Ellen is passionate about her role at Webb and the larger community. She has been a running club coach, Jump Rope for Heart volunteer, and her knitting and crocheting prowess has become legendary at Webb. She has knitted dozens of hats which she donates to Webb families in need.

In her interview, Ellen shared, “we need to reduce challenges because all students deserve to learn”. True to the vision of Every Child, Every Day, Ellen seeks to help all students be successful and is a strong role model and advocate for all learners at Webb School. Ellen’s growth mindset is known to be contagious to students and staff alike and everyone who has the opportunity to work with her greatly appreciates her positive “can do” attitude.