ELEVATE AN
EDUCATOR 2021

The critical role Educators play in American society is undeniable. EDUCATORS are ELEVATORS: Educators Teach. Educators Influence. Educators Create. Educators Matter. Where would you be today if it weren't for the Educators in your life, where would our children be? At Freadom, we believe Educators are Elevators, because they lift us all up, now it is time to lift them up! Nominate the educators who have or are making a real difference.

Nominations are open from, International Literacy Day, September 8, 2021 through February 1, 2022, the day marking the first 100 days of school. EVERY nominator receives a free sticker pack worth $10 and EVERY nominee will receive a digital gift card for cool Freadom Swag! One nominee will be selected as Freadom's 2021 Most Valuable Educator and will receive a $500 Gift Card.


This is our second annual Elevate an Educator Campaign. The goal is to have nominations from all 50 states. Think about the Educators who elevated you or who are elevating our children now and nominate them today!

ELEVATE AN
EDUCATOR 2021

The critical role Educators play in American society is undeniable. EDUCATORS are ELEVATORS: Educators Teach. Educators Influence. Educators Create. Educators Matter. Where would you be today if it weren't for the Educators in your life, where would our children be? At Freadom, we believe Educators are Elevators, because they lift us all up, now it is time to lift them up! Nominate the educators who have or are making a real difference.

Nominations are open from, International Literacy Day, September 8, 2021 through February 1, 2021, the day marking the first 100 days of school. EVERY nominator receives a free sticker pack worth $10 and EVERY nominee will receive a digital gift card for cool Freadom Swag! One nominee will be selected as Freadom's 2021 Most Valuable Educator and will receive a $500 Gift Card.


This is our second annual Elevate an Educator Campaign. The goal is to have nominations from all 50 states. Think about the Educators who elevated you or who are elevating our children now and nominate them today!

FEATURED ELEVATIONS FROM ELEVATE AN EDUCATOR 2021:

Ronald Clark
Chicago, Illinois

Elevated by Michael Love

"Ronald's superpower is his love of literacy and social emotional learning for young black men. I have never seen someone with so much energy and passion to really create a change through education. He is unapologetic in his approach and his love of education precedes him, like a book filled aura...

Stacy Rapp
Santa Maria, California

Elevated by A Former Team 6 Parent

"Mrs. Rapp... words can't explain how much we love her. Last year was our first year at the school where she teaches. The year before when everything went up in smoke around the world my child broke down. He hated school, didn't like school on the computer and I could tell he felt unseen and lost. He would cry and not want to sit on the computer to learn...

Nicholas Seale
Moundville, Alabama

Elevated by Melanie Maddox

"Nick Seale has been in education for while and knows the importance of having one. He was initially an elementary teacher but ventured into the wonderful world of middle school, where he now runs the library and media area of our school. Nick is an advocate of reading...

Melissa Surviski
Allison Park, Pennsylvania

Elevated by Megan Madsen

"Dr. Survinski is one of the most reliable, flexible, and creative teachers I know. She is primarily a gifted teacher but provides enrichment for every student in the school. When she took on this role three years ago, for students in grade 6-12, she had to learn many new subjects...

Melissa Thom
West Hartford, Connecticut

"I just can’t say enough about Melissa Thom’s infectious love for books! She has an intense admiration for collecting but most importantly sharing books! She is best known for her school-wide culture of reading initiatives."

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Nominated by Ali Schilpp

What is this educator's superpower? I just can’t say enough about Melissa Thom’s infectious love for books! She has an intense admiration for collecting but most importantly sharing books! She is best known for her school-wide culture of reading initiatives. I know that her middle scholars are fortunate to have her but I would also like to credit Melissa for the work and support she provides for fellow school librarians. Her friendly and go-getter personality makes her a standout and a genuine advocate for school librarianship. She creates pillows and masks with literacy themed prints and recently became a Little Free Library steward. Her partner built her LFL for her recent birthday! Melissa has been a dear friend to me and many educators. She is very good at including and encouraging everyone to participate which was very much needed during our school closures. At a time when we were all unsure how to navigate as virtual librarians, she was a bright light! I hope to spotlight her and share her love of reading and connecting through stories!

 

Setrina Byrd
Monroe, NC

"Setrina Byrd is an Assistant Principal at Monroe Middle School in Union County, North Carolina. Every one of her interactions is grace-filled, whether it involve her students or her staff members. She inspires everyone around her to be kinder and more compassionate."

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Nominated by Elaine Shobert

Setrina Byrd is an Assistant Principal at Monroe Middle School in Union County, North Carolina. Every one of her interactions is grace-filled, whether it involve her students or her staff members. She inspires everyone around her to be kinder and more compassionate.
In November, 2018 I had the opportunity to attend NCTE National Convention with Setrina. We sat side by side and listened as Christopher Emdin presented his hip-hop pedagogy and the impact white educators have on black students when they-intentionally or unintentionally-force their culture onto their students. I had so many questions and so much to learn, and I didn't even know it. Setrina, in all her grace and wisdom, listened and guided me. While I still have much to learn about being an antiracist educator, and recognize that it is not Setrina's burden to carry for me, she continues to set a solid example for all those who are blessed enough to cross her professional or personal path. Educators like Setrina are essential and deserve to be elevated.

Joseph Napier  
Hazel Crest, IL

"Often Mr. Napier is called the child whisperer because of the wonderful connection that he makes with his students. He is a solid teacher that listens and cares about every student that comes into contact with him. He has an upbeat and positive personality that is infectious."

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Nominated by Daniel Peters

Often Mr. Napier is called the child whisperer because of the wonderful connection that he makes with his students. He is a solid teacher that listens and cares about every student that comes into contact with him. He has an upbeat and positive personality that is infectious. Students, teachers, staff, and administration all agree that after talking to Mr. Napier you have no choice but to be in a good mood. A basketball coach, teacher, mentor, and all around great human being that is a solid member of the faculty. A ton of respect for a teacher like Coach Napier!

 

Donna Wilberding
Piqua, OH

"The impact that she made extends beyond the classroom as countless former students followed her into the education profession. She remains in close contact with many of them as colleagues, friends and even mentored several in their early years of teaching."

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Nominated by Chris Wilberding

Donna Wilberding spent nearly 30 years in the classroom teaching primarily Spanish, but also English in West Cental Ohio. The impact that she made extends beyond the classroom as countless former students followed her into the education profession. She remains in close contact with many of them as colleagues, friends and even mentored several in their early years of teaching.

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Ronald's superpower is his love of literacy and social emotional learning for young black men. I have never seen someone with so much energy and passion to really create a change through education. He is unapologetic in his approach and his love of education precedes him, like a book filled aura. I have watched him connect and inspire "A" students and students who were in danger of failing by being able to relate and show genuine, authentic care for them, not just as students but as young men.

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Mrs. Rapp... words can't explain how much we love her. Last year was our first year at the school where she teaches. The year before when everything went up in smoke around the world my child broke down. He hated school, didn't like school on the computer and I could tell he felt unseen and lost. He would cry and not want to sit on the computer to learn.

He was very hesitant about starting a new school, with a new teacher on the computer for first grade but we needed a change... a fresh start. So the first day of school came and I sat down out of sight but with my son for his first day of school. We logged in early and sat in the waiting room until Zoom started. My son was nervous and so was I. I wanted him to love school, his teacher and to learn... when it was time for class to start we saw a little Disney inspired video (like what you'd see at the beginning of a Disney movie) and it ended with an image of their classroom door, decorated. We saw my sons name on the door and he instantly had a smile on his face. Being a teacher myself and by watching my son I knew he already felt like apart of what Mrs. Rapp calls "The Team 6 Family". Then a cheerful woman popped up on the screen and off they went.

About 3 minutes into school my son told me he didn't need me and shooed me away. I would pop in and check on him from time to time with tears in my eyes as I saw him glued to the screen, raising his hand with a smile on his face. He loved school, he loved his teacher who every single day from the first day on make him feel loved, seen, heard, special and cared for.

My son is in second grade now and still talks about Mrs. Rapp the teacher who made a difference.

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Nick Seale has been in education for while and knows the importance of having one. He was initially an elementary teacher but ventured into the wonderful world of middle school, where he now runs the library and media area of our school. Nick is an advocate of reading. When the pandemic shut down schools, Nick pushed for access to an online library so that our students could continue to read and explore the world through books in every genre. I'm always inspired by his tenacity and perseverance to get each and every child a piece of technology in order to access the online library. I'm honored and blessed to work alongside such an advocate for reading!

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Dr. Survinski is one of the most reliable, flexible, and creative teachers I know. She is primarily a gifted teacher but provides enrichment for every student in the school. When she took on this role three years ago, for students in grade 6-12, she had to learn many new subjects. She offers workshops in robotics, Minecraft, creative writing, accelerated reader book club, women in engineering, photography, computer coding, data science, graphic design, 3D printing, and individual student deigned projects. She loves to “push buttons” with her students and “see what happens”. During the pandemic she also took on the role of training teachers on technology to support virtual learning. She never says no and always finds a way to pivot a challenge into something fund and creative for her students.

EDUCATORS ARE ELEVATORS

We are on a mission to Elevate Educators in all 50 states in America. Every Nominator receives a sticker pack worth $10 and every nominated Educator will receive a gift card for cool Freadom stuff!