Ruth Lubbers says this about fellow Monroe Elementary School reading consultant Sharon McCauley, "When I sit back and think of Sharon as a colleague and a professional, the most important quality that she possesses is that she is relentless in the pursuit of having each and every child in this building attain their potential while under our watch. She strives for this the moment they enter kindergarten and carefully guides them all the way through fifth grade."
Fran Welch raves about how McCauley had gone above and beyond for her daughter Lauren.
Welch said, "The quote of John Ruskin reminds me of Mrs. McCauley's commitment to all the children of Monroe Elementary, 'when love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'"
On Monday night, Sharon McCauley was honored as Monroe's Teacher of the Year, and Supt. of Schools James Agostine shared the above comments from Lubbers and Welch.
"In reading some of the comments made by those that nominated Sharon, it is easy to see why she was chosen as this year's Teacher of the Year," Agostine said during the Board of Education meeting, held inside the Masuk High School media center.
Board of Education Chairman Darrell Trump handed a bouquet to McCauley, who appeared to be overwhelmed with emotion.
"It's an amazing honor that I will cherish and never forget," she said. "I've always been proud to be a teacher, and I am proud to be a teacher in the Monroe school system."
Agostine said McCauley will fill out a packet for consideration as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year and wished her luck.
An Educator of 20 Years
McCauley's 20-year-career began in Winstead, working as a third grade teacher with former Monroe superintendent Dr. Norman Michaud, according to Agostine. She went on to be a second grade teacher at Monroe Elementary School, then a kindergarten teacher before becoming a reading consultant, a position she has held for the past decade.
Agostine credits McCauley for "spearheading" Monroe Elementary School's reading and language arts efforts.
Lubbers says McCauley creates new reading groups based on the needs of all of the children in her school, and does research and works collaboratively with her colleagues.
One of her colleagues, Barbara Quinlan says McCauley is a "teacher 24/7".
"Her students are close to her heart and in her thoughts long after she leaves the building," Quinlan said. "She deeply cares about her students and truly knows each one."
When something does not work to help a student, Quinlan said McCauley "will work tirelessly to find an alternative that does."
'Above and Beyond'
Welch is a parent who describes McCauley as "one of those teachers who consistently goes above and beyond."
"Mrs. McCauley helped Lauren after school on many, many occasions just because she was so committed to Lauren's achievement," Welch said of her daughter. "On several occasions, Mrs. McCauley would stop me in the hall to give me an update on Lauren's progress, the good and the bad.
"She would openly praise Lauren in front of her so Lauren could see how excited she was with her progress. I will never forget that Mrs. McCauley called me on the weekend to tell me how wonderful Lauren was progressing and how proud she was of her."
McCauley's interest in her student went beyond the classroom. When she heard Lauren got a Kindle for her birthday, Welch said she emailed her with books on Kindle that Lauren would enjoy.
Welch said, "Not only did Mrs. McCauley take care of Lauren while at Monroe El, but she is still looking out for her."