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Focus on Students: Ellisville Elementary Teacher Goes the Extra Mile to Ensure Student Feels Included

Our theme for the 2022-2023 school year here in Rockwood School District is “safe, focused and fun.” Our main focus is on our students and ensuring that they have every opportunity to realize their potential. Part of our strategic plan, The Way Forward, involves recruiting, attracting and developing outstanding staff members to provide the best instruction and educational opportunities for all students. Here is a story of one of our outstanding staff members.

 A Rockwood educator and one of her students smile at their schoolDuring the first week of Ellisville Elementary’s annual PTO fundraising drive, Elizabeth Dean’s kindergarten class had the highest percentage of students participating. As a reward, the students earned the opportunity to deliver a pie to the face of a teacher of their choosing on Sept. 9.

One of Dean’s students, Daniel, went home sick that day and could not take part in the fun. So, after school, Dean showed up at Daniel’s house.

Pie and poncho at the ready.

“I am blessed to be Daniel's teacher and it broke my heart that he went home sick, knowing that he was really looking forward to smashing a pie in my face,” Dean said. “As soon as I left school, I called his mom and asked her if it would be OK if I stopped by. I grabbed my daughter's swim goggles and the emergency poncho that I keep in my glove box - this qualified as an emergency, right? - and I drove over to the Youngs' house.”

A Rockwood educator and one of her students smile after he pied her in the faceDean surprised Daniel at the door, and he got the chance to pie his teacher after all. Daniel and two of his siblings are all in Dean’s class.

“She did this so he wouldn’t feel left out,” the triplets’ mother, Jill Young, said. “She has just been amazing to my kids. She is a fantastic asset to not only the school but a wonderful educator and guide for all of these little people.”

“I know that my students are very young and they probably won't remember much about kindergarten, but the one thing I hope they remember is how special they were to me and how they felt when they were at school,” Dean added. “Being a kindergarten teacher is magical. I'd gladly take some pies in the face or dress up in silly costumes if it makes my students feel loved and happy!”

A Rockwood educator surprises one of her students at his front door A Rockwood student pies his teacher in the face A Rockwood educator smiles with three of her students outside their house