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A teacher that goes the extra mile for her students was honored as the Educator of the Month at the April Good Morning Santa Paula! Pictured left (l-r): Board President Diana Ponce-Gomez, Collen Conrad, Blanchard Principal Patty Fulbright and SPUSD Superintendent Alfonso Gamino.

Chamber honors Blanchard teacher
as Educator of the Month

April 25, 2014
Santa Paula News

A teacher that goes the extra mile for her students was honored as the Educator of the Month at the April Good Morning Santa Paula! 

“Teachers,” said GMSP Emcee Ben Schuck, “are the people who make the best of the next generation... “

Blanchard Elementary School Principal Patti Fulbright said teacher Colleen Conrad certainly is a great example of Schuck’s comment.

The 2nd Grade teacher was already a seasoned teacher when she joined Blanchard’s staff: she taught kindergarten and 1st Grade as well as 2nd and 4th grades at private schools before joining the Santa Paula Unified School District 17 years ago.

“Colleen is very hard working and dedicated to students and the school family... she sees it not as ‘my class’ but ‘our kids,’ the whole school,” where Fulbright said Conrad is also known for leadership and team-building.

“She goes the extra mile on her own without pay,” working after school with the students.

Conrad, added Fulbright, “Can be counted on to lend a hand wherever she is needed... “

And that includes teaching challenging grade combination classes that Fulbright said other teachers often shun due to the heavier workload.

Unlike other teachers who asked that they not be assigned to combination classes, “Colleen came in and said it was a really good experience for her, that it was best for the kids and best for the teacher,” to keep her at the helm of such a class.

“She’s very selfless and thinks of the greater good of the school,” including her peers that Conrad represents for the union.

Fulbright said she admires that in her union role Conrad, “Talks to me and works it out before it becomes a problem.”

“I don’t think I do anymore than other teachers do,” said Conrad. “I do love working in Santa Paula,” where she  has taught in private and public schools for a combined 34 years. 

“I like the direction the district is going in,” and although Conrad admitted, “I was very hesitant about unification,” but now, “I see it’s going well.”

Schuck urged Conrad to display her Chamber Educator of the Month Award in her classroom: “I hope the children ask what this means,” so they’ll realize, as do others, “How wonderful it is to have teachers that inspire their students.”

Along with the Educator of the Month plaque Conrad also received a certificate of recognition from Assemblymember Das Williams.





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