Alexander Elementary's Lori Kasparek
1st Grade Teacher
Alexander Elementary School
"I have had the extreme pleasure of knowing Lori Kasparek for 5 years. She taught my now 4th grade daughter in 1st grade when she worked at Horn. I knew Lori was an exceptional teacher then, as I saw how much she truly cared for my daughter and the rest of her class. She ran her classroom with a huge, kind, and loving heart, never needing to even raise her voice because the students truly strove to meet her expectations.
Fast forward to present-day. I have had the absolute pleasure of helping out as a volunteer in Lori's 1st grade class at Alexander. As a new school, teachers have to work harder to build the sense of community. As one of the most diverse buildings in the district, the staff has to face the task of guiding children with very different cultures, languages and sets of beliefs through the curriculum, while teaching them to accept and respect one another along the way.
When I take groups of students out of the classroom to work with me they are so kind, respectful and caring. Some that had put in a lot of effort at the beginning of the year to stay focused are now skillfully and confidently getting their work done, and then offering to help explain their methods to their peers to help concepts make sense to them! Her students fully believe that they are as capable as the person sitting next to them, regardless of current ability and achievement. They know that progress is the most important measurable aspect of their education. How do they know this? She tells them regularly. As they are sharing the amount of words they recognized that day, or how well they understood the math--she has been known to say: "Every single one of you has learned and grown so much this year. Regardless of where we all started, we have ALL made progress. That's fantastic, and you all should be proud."
I truly believe that for students to be successful later down the road that they have to feel loved, confident and important to their school community early. Every single child in that classroom is being nurtured by Lori to feel all of those things. She is able to do this while effectively (sometimes leaving me speechless after a lesson) teaching the curriculum. I know her students will leave her class at the end of this school year beyond prepared for second grade. Lori is a teacher that truly impacts her students--they will remember her for life. Her ability to run her classroom in such a calm and organized fashion is astounding. I believe in the sometimes overused statement that: "To teach is to inspire." I watched my daughter's class become inspired as they completed their year with Lori and I'm watching it again this year. These kids will go on to do great things in life and Lori is a very big part of the building blocks setting them up for later success. Lori is a shining star, truly exemplary of what it means to be an elementary educator. As I write this I'm moved to tears by what she does--she deserves all of the recognition in the world for her impact."