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Escondido Teacher nationally recognized for her excellence in the classroom

Classical Academy award-winning teacher Sarah Pierce.

Sarah Pierce, a 7th and 8th grade STEM teacher at the Classical Academy was one of 20 teachers from 15 states who were honored Monday at the first annual Summit Learning Spotlight in Redwood City.
The inaugural Summit Learning Spotlight honors and celebrated community-nominated teachers and schools across the country that are outstanding examples of personalized learning implementation and instruction.
One of her colleagues told The Times-Advocate: “Out of thousands of teachers and more than 330 schools across the nation participating in the Summit Learning Program, she stood out as someone we all could learn from. Someone who comes to work each day knowing she can make a difference and someone for whom teaching isn’t a job but a passion of love.”
In 2016, the Escondido’s Classical Academy adopted the Summit Learning Program. As part of the Summit Learning community, the Classical Academy has exhibited a strong commitment to ensuring that all students are known deeply inside and outside of the classroom, become advocates for themselves, and have opportunities to ignite their passions and interests through their schoolwork, real-world learning experiences and ongoing, one-to-one mentoring.
Teachers and leaders at the Classical Academy, including Pierce, are dedicated to providing all students with an education that reflects the skills and habits necessary for success–an education that takes into account students’ individual needs, aspirations, and how they learn best.
Meeting the needs of every student required the Classical Academy teachers to make fundamental changes in their classrooms in order to provide a high level of individual support to students, and Pierce has embraced this hard work.
Pierce played a leading role in creating a course to orient students in Summit Learning and promote their success with the approach. She also makes it a habit to hold weekly check-ins with all her students and provide extra support to students who need it. As a result, 99% of her students are on track in understanding key content. Pierce is a leader in the Summit Learning community who shares her best practices and resources with other teachers in her school and around the country.
“Sarah is an incredibly innovative teacher who is always seeking new ways to make the learning process enjoyable and engaging,” said Classical Academy Principal Jennifer Morrow. “She has a gift for helping each of her individual students work toward their goals — encouraging them and helping them access the tools they need to succeed while also empowering them to self-direct their learning and develop strong thinking skills.”
Nominations for the Summit Learning Spotlight were accepted in fall 2017. Nominators provided insight and evidence into great educational practices from around Summit Learning community. As a Summit Learning Spotlight teacher, Pierce and the Classical Academy will have the opportunity to share educational best practices, lessons learned, and keys to success with educators across the country.
“Pierce is more than a teacher — she is a mentor and coach to her students, a leader of her colleagues, and a role model for a national community of educators,” said Diane Tavenner, CEO and co-founder of Summit Public Schools. “We are honored to partner with, learn from and celebrate Pierce and her dedication to meeting the needs of each and every student.”
“Sarah exhibits all the best qualities a teacher could have!” said Lisa Prouty, parent of a Classical Academy student. “She’s enthusiastic about teaching and it shows in the way she encourages and motivates her students. She holds high expectations for each child and helps them to rise to the occasion.”
The parents threw a surprise party for Pierce on Tuesday afternoon.

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