Two women standing, one holding a certificate, the other holding a gift basket

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Lori Tracy, a four-year-old classroom teacher in the Pre-K program at Faris Elementary, is this month's Allen Samuels CDJR Teacher of the Month.

"I took a break last year and taught Kindergarten and then came back," Tracy said. "Because I missed it. I missed the little four-year-olds."

Tracy really finds it rewarding to teach the little ones for whom school is still new and still a place they want to be.

"I feel like they are just so naturally motivated to learn," Tracy said. "They just come in with so much energy and we kind of take that energy and we use it to kind of fuel our day in a positive way. I don't think you get that with every age group. I think there's something special about these little ones. They are just so happy to be here and they love you and little things that we do are so special to them."

When you can establish a structure within a classroom, that's when it really starts to be enjoyable, according to Tracy.

"In August, we're just learning how to come to school," Tracy said. "This time of year, we're three months in and they are so solid with our routine and my expectations. This is when it's really fun. It's so much more rewarding, I think, now, because I can see the work that we've done kind of come into play and so I can give two kids an activity to do and they can work together. They can work through it. They can solve problems a little more independently, because we've been working on it the past three months. This is really a fun time of year. They are blossoming."

Craig Johnson nominated Tracy, saying, "It is an honor long overdue."

Tracy's class was treated to a special pizza and ice cream party thanks to Braums and Pizza Hut on Friday, Nov. 17.

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