Courtney Burns, Extraordinary Educator at Fairview Elementary, exudes positivity. And you don’t have to look hard to see just how much that impacts her belief in her students and her school.
“Ms. Burns always has a smile on her face and brings her energy and light each day to the school house and community,” says Abe Hege, principal at Fairview. “Ms. Burns is a favorite among staff and scholars at Fairview because of her dedication and positivity.”
Courtney, who teaches fourth-grade English Language Arts and Reading, is a champion for Fairview and her students. She says her pride in working at Fairview is backed by a motivating culture of aspiring to always be better.
“We have created a school of excellence and have set the bar extremely high,” Courtney says of the Fairview culture. “We created a new culture of drive and success, motivating, encouraging, and educating our students to be the best they can be, and to know and believe they are able to achieve all things. Every staff member goes extremely hard to help each child succeed and be a better them.”
When it comes to the staff at Fairview, Courtney gives credit to her principal for all of his hard work with the Fairview faculty to make the school somewhere for all students to thrive.
“Mr. Hege came in with a vision,” Courtney says. “He didn’t just talk about it, but he made it happen by choosing an awesome staff family, as well as creating and building a creative, fun, and educational atmosphere for every person in the building. I am thankful for his leadership and his mind to push everyone to be a greater them.”
Courtney attributes her own passion for pushing her students and herself to her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Walker. Courtney remembers how Mrs. Walker made sure every element of her classroom demonstrated excellence to her students. Now as an educator herself, Courtney often notices how her students watch her just as closely as she watched Mrs. Walker.
“My greatest surprise as a teacher is how much I learn about myself from my students, and how they watch and learn from me, not just as an educator but as their personal role model,” she says. “My students would be on it every morning noticing, my hair, my lashes, my happy days, my sad days – even when I smile and have my positive attitude – and most of all [they notice] how much I loved them as if they were my own. They help me grow in every aspect to find my purpose, motivating me to continue in teaching and reaching higher goals.”
So where does Courtney find her joy and optimism each day? Her students.
“My students get me excited each day I walk into the classroom!” Courtney says. “It’s like they come in each morning with a smile, a hug, and a story to tell. I love when they try to tell me what we are going to do that day based on what they learned the previous day to show that they were listening. My students are my smile.”
Check out Courtney’s Amazon Wish List here!
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Photography by Maria West Photography