At Timber Drive Elementary School in Garner, North Carolina, fourth-grade math and science specialist Tiffany Lachenmayr runs her classroom the same way she runs her own life: with high expectations and a willingness to improve. Lachenmayr's impact is felt on students long after they have left her classroom; they return to visit and ask her for advice.
It is no surprise entering Lachenmayr's classroom that fourth graders receive a firm foundation for success. Students are collaborating in groups following the lessons that their teacher models. Strategies are research-based and tailored to their needs. Lachenmayr tracks and analyzes student data throughout the year. If a student is not meeting his or her targets, Lachenmayr promptly initiates a plan for improvement. She also has a deep understanding of special education students and makes sure that they stay on track. Her classroom is open for other teachers to observe, and parents are involved in their children's learning through a newsletter with tips they can use at home to supplement the lessons taught during the school day.
The hard work pays off: Timber Drive Elementary fourth-graders are exceeding state averages for math and reading, according to 2011-2012 school year results from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Lachenmayr is a leader beyond the classroom. She is National Board Certified, a grade level leader, and a member of the school leadership team on which she helps develop the school improvement plan each year. She is also on the reading, writing and math committees, participates in professional development on a regular basis, and serves as a member of the Council of Teachers of Mathematics.