Junior High Mathematics teacher Ms. Tarrant has been employed with
the school district for 24 years.
Colleague Ann Olson said, "Kathleen goes above and beyond to ensure
her students are getting the best possible education. She not only
gives up her planning period to help students, but is here early in
the morning and late after school. Kathleen doesn't just stop at
helping her current students, she helps high school students, as
well as parents that are attending college. She truly cares about
her students future. She is a very humble person and would do
anything to help anybody in and outside of the building.
Drew & Michel Emrick say, "Kathleen is the reason my son enjoys
math, even when it is difficult. She is always willing and available
to help students before and after school. Her dedication to, and
motivation of, her students is inspiring.
Another colleague said, Ms. Tarrant cares deeply about her students.
She wants them to understand and use the skills well. She makes time
for them to give them extra help when they need it. She talks with
them and gets to know her students. She makes sure the students are
challenged. Ms. Tarrant makes sure her students have the tools to
Parent Heather Murphy said, "Ms. Tarrant is very deserving of the
Teacher of the Quarter Award. Not only has she made math interesting
for my two sons, she has also gone above and beyond to make sure
they understand what they are learning. Last year, she understood
the fact that her book was not completely aligned to the Common Core
Standards, so she made an effort to bring these standards to the
students through a motivational program called Khan Academy - a
program that gives the students access to other resources in order
to enhance their understanding of hard concepts (and tries to make
it fun in the process by earning points and badges). I believe that
by using these outside resources through technology, she was able to
better prepare my children for the types of questions they would see
on the mandated PAARC assessment.
"I also love the fact that Ms. Tarrant also incorporates a couple
minutes each day for current events. Each day as the students came
into class, she would have them watch a short video of the current
events. Not only is this an EXCELLENT classroom management routine,
but has also allowed my children to become familiar with what was
happening in the world around them. My boys would come home at least
twice a week and inform me of what their 'mini video' was about. Not
only was she keeping them on track with their Math Learning
Standards, she was also making an impact on their current events
knowledge through the use of excellent classroom management.
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"Along with these
key attributes, I have also personally seen Ms. Tarrant in
action with a group of 8th graders who had been struggling a bit
with some content in a particular chapter. She was willing to
spend her own free time to stay after school (for quite a long
time) to help these individuals out.
"In addition to these
boys, she has also always been there for my son as well. Anytime he
needed help on a problem or a concept, she was willing to give up
her free time to assist him. He will never forget that, and will
always remember how caring she was to him and how determined she was
to help him succeed within the classroom.
"Being a teacher is far more than just standing in front of a room
and talking to kids. How you act with your class and how you are
portrayed in the public also plays a big role on your character and
your reputation within the community. Any time I see Ms. Tarrant in
public, she is kind, respectful, and admiring. She always has a
smile on her face and is always so positive. I am so glad that my
children were able to have her as a teacher."
Tarrant is a resident of Bloomington and travels to Ireland
frequently to visit family.
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Beckers has been employed in the
school district for 21 years.
Colleague Wyatt Waterkotte said, "There are few people who engender
such love and respect as Anna Beckers. She is universally well-liked
by student, co-workers, and parents. Anna provides a sense of unity
to the grade school staff and is like a mother to many of the
"Through many trials, she has always been dedicated to her job and
shows tremendous work ethic. If ever I need something, she is
immediately willing to help me out. I thoroughly enjoy my
conversations with her and believe that she puts a very positive
face on the Mount Pulaski School District.
Beckers makes her home in Mount Pulaski with her husband, George.
They have six children and seven grandchildren.
[Information facilitated by school
board member Deanne Mott and LDN writer/photographer Teena Lowery]