Sarah Szymanski and her second graders start each day at Soaring Eagles Elementary in Colorado Springs by reciting aloud a mantra that supports both academic and social-emotional learning goals. The words remind the students that they are cared for and loved at school; that they are going to learn; and that learning sometimes means making mistakes. Szymanski wants her students at the gifted and talented magnet school to stretch themselves and holds high expectations for them as learners and citizens. A skilled differentiator, Szymanski skillfully assesses student performance and strategically designs interventions to address any deficits. She understands Colorado’s academic standards and is committed to ensuring that all students are exposed to and master them. The children in Szymanski’s class perform because of her ability to engage them and make learning exciting: Her students outperform district averages in all areas, and the school is both a National Blue Ribbon School and a National Title I Distinguished School.
Szymanski is known as a natural leader with an extraordinary ability to advocate for both students and colleagues. She has taught both inclusive and departmentalized classrooms and serves as grade level leader. Szymanski’s service on school and district committees includes Math Collaborators, Effectiveness and Results, and the building leadership team. Many visitors to Soaring Eagles stop in Szymanski’s classroom to observe her management, community-building and instruction skills.
Szymanski is always looking for ways to increase her effectiveness as an educator and seeks out best practices to deliver quality lessons. She has presented at school and district trainings on literacy models and their implementation. Szymanski goes above and beyond for the Soaring Eagles community, mentoring student teachers and first-year educators and tutoring students during her lunch hour, planning periods and after school. Known to build strong relationships with families, she also works with parents to help them understand the concepts their children are learning in class.
Szymanski earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Pennsylvania State University in 2008.
"I constantly tell my students that a test score has nothing to do with success. If they feel like they have grown from the day..." (read more)
The Gazette | Dec 19 , 2018 | Colorado Springs, CO
KOAA-TV | NBC | Dec 19 , 2018 | Colorado Springs, CO
KXRM-TV | FOX | Dec 19 , 2018 | Colorado Springs, CO