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Teacher of the Month April 2015

Teachers of the Month: Claudia Crotta, Riversink Elementary Teacher; Lori Sandgren, Riversprings & Wakulla Middle School Reading Coach

Superintendent Robert Pearce and the Wakulla County School Board applaud the dedication to the District as a whole each bring to work every day on behalf of the students, schools, the profession of education and local communities they serve.

Claudia Crotta, Riversink Elementary School teacher, is recognized as a March Teacher of the Month. Crotta has been an elementary classroom teacher for twelve years after serving as a Wakulla County paraprofessional for five years and various secretarial duties for Florida law enforcement agencies. While working as a paraprofessional, Crotta attended night and on-line classes at TCC and Flagler so she could get her teaching degree.

Originally from Lima, Peru, Crotta grew up in the Miami-Dade County area of Florida, relocating to North Florida with her husband and children.

Riversink Principal Jackie High recognizes Crotta as a dedicated teacher, adding, “She works hard each and every day to make learning fun for her students. She can always be depended on to step up when called upon. A prime example of this is when we had two non-English speaking students register at our school this year. Mrs. Crotta worked hard to not only meet the needs of her Spanish speaking student, but also worked diligently with staff and the 4th grade teacher to be sure the needs of the other student were also being met. Her leadership was vital in helping the two students transition to our school with ease.”

Beyond her ability to speak, read and write Spanish fluently, Crotta contributes to the total school program as a grade level chair, safety patrol coordinator, technology assistant coordinator and Box Tops coordinator.

Mrs. Crotta enjoys her students. She said, “They make me laugh every day. I learn from them as much as they learn from me.”

Riversprings & Wakulla Middle School Reading Coach, Lori Sandgren, is recognized as the April Teacher of the Month as well. Sandgren had previously served three years as the Wakulla High School reading coach. Prior to working as a reading coach for the district, she taught at both Wakulla High and Wakulla Middle School.

Originally from Taylor County, where she grew up, Sandgren touts her experience interning with Regina Strickland as a privilege. Wakulla Middle School provided the foundation for her career start as she accepted her first job offer as a 6th grade language arts/reading teacher.

Sandgren has graduated from FSU with a bachelor’s degree in English Education and master’s degree in Education Leadership. As a reading coach, she especially enjoys working with teachers throughout the district. She notes, “I get to experience firsthand, the love and success every teacher demonstrates toward their students through the eyes of the Reading Coach. I get to see success bloom from start to finish.”

Sandgren has also contributed to the total school programs as a cheer coach, geography bee coordinator, homecoming coordinator, student council sponsor, senior night coordinator and summer reading coordinator.

Chief Academic Officer Beth Mims adds, “A large part of Mrs. Sandgren’s responsibility involves reviewing student data and assuring that appropriate intervention is occurring to move students toward success. She is a coach in the most literal sense of the word as she comes along side staff to help them through the maze of the multi-tiered system of supports, which we affectionately call “RtI.” She brings laughter and joy to a difficult and demanding job, and I am honored to work wither.”