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Making the Grade

JULIE SUTOR
Summit Daily/Reid Williams Summit County Christian School teacher, Debbie Russell
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Debbie Russell has been teaching prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade at Summit County Christian School for 13 years. She now teaches prekindergarten and kindergarten.Inspiration: I was drawn toward teaching at an early age, and that desire lasted throughout my middle school and high school years. I remember sitting in study hall designing my kindergarten classroom. It was not until I had my first child, Alan, who helped me rediscover my love for teaching, that I surrendered to my desire.

Motivation: I enjoy walking hand in hand with families in shepherding their children. My goal is not only to work with students, but with families. We partner together to provide children with a strong foundation that will last a lifetime. Philosophy: My teaching is based on Biblical principles. While facts may soon be forgotten, principles are the foundation that will last a lifetime. It is amazing how one can draw character and moral principles from every subject.I encourage internal motivation and self-government, as opposed to external motivation. I am in the business of restoring thinking and reasoning skills to our children. I hold high standards for my students. I do not hesitate to correct my students for fear of hurting their self-esteem. My students are individuals. They have different needs and learn in different ways. I take the tutorial approach, meeting each child where he is.

Modern challenges: The toughest thing about being an educator today is competing with the world’s standards. Our children have learned to expect immediate gratification and external motivation. I believe that this results in the poor work ethics we see today. Our society is preoccupied with the idea of self-esteem. This leads to the undercorrection of children. I have found that children who have been taught this way have difficulty handling correction and failure. They need to learn to handle failure and use it as a learning tool.Accomplishments: I raised three sons of good character who make wise choices and live successful, productive lives.Role models: Jesus Christ (the Master Teacher), Mrs. Kauffman (my kindergarten teacher) and Connie Moody (my administrator).

If I had $100,000: I would use it to build or purchase a building of our own.Extracurricular: I like to spend time with family and friends, explore new places, and scrapbook.- Julie Sutor


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