Mount Pulaski Grade School honors Kathleen Tarrant and Anna Beckers with awards

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[June 19, 2017]  MOUNT PULASKI - Kathleen Tarrant and Anna Beckers were recognized at the close of this past school year for Mount Pulaski Grade School as Educator of the Quarter and Support Staff of the Semester, respectively.

Ms. Tarrant

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 succeed."

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.

Mrs. Beckers

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 students.

"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]


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