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Ms. Juliana Seaman – Riverside Elementary

Nominator: Steve Baldridge
Riverside Elementary School

The impact of a great teacher can be measured not in days or weeks, but in years, and even over an entire lifetime. The many hundreds of students who have passed through Ms. Seaman’s classroom throughout the years can all attest to the huge impact she has had on their lives, which she has made in so many ways—through her humor, her caring and compassion, her ability to inspire, her desire to motivate her students to achieve their very best potential, and of course through her teaching. As I declared my intention to nominate Ms. Seaman for this award, I asked for comments from her current and former students, and their parents, and the response was overwhelming.

Consider the impression she has made on her current students. Following is a sampling of what they have to say about her:

“Miss Seaman is the best teacher ever!!! She always helps you when you need help. She never says no, if you ask for help. She teaches with kindness and compassion.”

“Miss Seaman is really nice and funny! She helps us when we need it. She is not strict. She does not yell. She makes us want to come to school!”

“Miss Seaman helps me and is always happy to help. Because I don’t have very many friends I think of her as one of my best friends. She makes me laugh and really cares for all of us.”

“Miss Seaman is really nice. She makes the lessons easy to understand, so I learn a lot from her. She lets us have recess if you get your work done. She is such a good teacher that I never dread coming to school.”

“Miss Seaman knows it is our last year to have fun before we start middle school, so she makes the year fun. She makes me want to be in class more. She laughs a lot and brings out the best in everyone!”

“I am so glad she is my teacher. I like her because she explains all of our work so we can understand it. She really cares for me.”

“Miss Seaman makes us laugh and keeps learning fun. We were talking about beetles (so) she stood up and sang a song from the Beatles.”

“Miss Seaman makes teaching fun for us. She is always happy and loves to hang out outside. She is a great teacher who is always smiling and helping other kids. She is awesome!!”

It isn’t just her current students who praise her from their desks; consider these comments from former students:

“She loves all kids, not just 6th graders. She loves to help kids learn, and have successful futures.”

“Miss Seaman was always there for me to talk to if I have no one else to turn to and (even now), she will always listen and try to help me with my problems. She is the kindest and most caring person I know. She is an example to all.”

“She helped me with my reading. When I got into sixth grade I was not a very good reader but she helped me and I got ten times better than I was. She was always patient with me. I am glad that I had a teacher like her. Miss Seaman is wonderful in every aspect.”

“She helped me look at the good things in life and made me want to go to school and learn and read.”

A most eloquent testimonial was received from former student Kimberly Jones:

A teacher is a courageous person. They take into their hands the responsibility of enlightening generations. These very generations hold the keys to our future, they who will one day determine the outcome of our country and of our lives. Teachers are so important but are still forgotten. We must always remember our teachers, for we owe them so much.
When I first met Ms. Seaman, I knew I wanted her as a teacher. She had, and still has, a certain light that radiated from her—a light of acceptance, honesty, and patience; a light of warmth, gentleness, and forgiveness. But most importantly she radiated knowledge, a knowledge I wanted for myself. That was the moment when I knew I needed her as my teacher.
I owe much of what I know today to my sixth grade teacher, Ms. Seaman. Without her, I would have never been able to fully comprehend what learning really is. She made learning fun and exciting, involving everything from stories to hands-on experiments. What learning should be, not a rehearsed routine, but something inspired within the heart. Ms. Seaman made learning a sweet memory that others and I will never forget.
Those who are able to meet Ms. Seaman are struck by her kindness. Maybe it is because she reminds them of one of their great teachers, or maybe they wish they could have had one as perfect as her. Whatever their reason may be, they leave hoping to see her again.
Ms. Seaman, a teacher, yet, more than that, she is a friend—a friend who taught me how to improve my sloppy cursive. Who strived to help me understand my math problems; a friend who taught me how to be a friend to others; who showed me how to enjoy life and how to be happy. A friend who told me to follow my dreams and to have integrity, who never let me down, especially in my times of need. Yes, she is more than a teacher, she is my good friend.

And, from the parents of her students:

“I have seen not only my daughters, but classrooms full of children flourish in her class. She develops their self-esteem and they really thrive on her positive attitude. Ms Seaman gives praise where it is due and she helps children want to do their best. In my case, she has taken her own personal time to attend my daughters’ piano recitals and other events they have participated in outside of school. I truly think that teaching and nurturing children is her calling. She also teaches self-discipline and responsibility to her students.”

“I had twin children in her class, and they both struggled with different things. A lot of people were very worried about them. I truly believe it was Miss Seaman who changed their lives. She always believed in them and was such a positive influence. My son had ADD and instead of getting frustrated with him she would always bring out the positive in him. My daughter was so far behind her peers academically that she was very nervous to go to school. But when she was in Miss Seaman’s class there was never a problem with going to school. She also improved two grade levels that year. The twins still visit with her quite often. In my opinion there is no one who deserves this award more then she does. My husband and I will always be grateful to her for what she did for our children. She is truly what a teacher is all about.”

“She was the best teacher that my daughter had while she attended school there. I remember Back to School night, and my daughter told me how amazing her new teacher was and how much I was going to love her. She was right—when I met her she openly hugged me and told me everything I needed to know regarding my daughter and how much she loved her. I watched her after we talked and she embraced each parent in the same way. That is such a vivid memory because I could tell that she was being very sincere and genuine. Ms. Seaman put a lot of love and attention to each and every student. My daughter still talks about her today and misses seeing her. I know that she is doing well today in school because of Ms. Seaman. Ms. Seaman would always encourage my daughter and point out her good traits and her strengths and that helped her to want to work harder and set better goals. You can tell from the very first time that you meet Ms. Seaman that she loves people and enjoys working with children. I knew my daughter was in good hands.

Ms. Seaman truly leaves no student behind!”

“I just can’t say enough great things about Ms. Seaman. She is a personal friend of mine since before I adopted my daughter and to my greatest luck and joy she is now her sixth grade teacher. She is an awesome person. They don’t come any better. I have never seen anyone with such a way with kids.

She is so patient and so loving and so concerned about each and every child in that class. She goes out of her way for every child. She has lost sleep over her kids. She has attended special events outside of school for her kids. She has such a way about her that encourages the kids to greatness without the effort. She has the respect of every child. They want to succeed and they want to do it for her as well as for themselves. She celebrates all the little things with each child. She is often found late after everyone has left the building working on something or worrying about someone or trying to figure out how to solve some problem. She has a great talent with working with both the parent and the child. She looks at the entire picture of things, not just what happens in her class, and has a holistic way of solving problems. She works great with parents and deals with difficult kids wonderfully. I have had a few tough years with teachers and what a relief that my daughter is now going to school everyday with a smile on her face and comes home the same way. She doesn’t push them to do well, she loves them into doing well. You can tell from the moment you walk in her room that every child loves being there and loves learning. It would be a shame to not award her the highest honors as a teacher, mentor, leader, and friend. She so deserves it.”

Even a future student couldn’t wait to get into her class. A second-grader once said, “I can’t wait til I can have Miss Seaman for my teacher! She is so nice!” Mr. Bill Hanvey, Riverside’s principal, has spoken of parents coming to his office with the request—stated rather firmly in some cases—that their child is enrolled in Ms. Seaman’s class.

These and many other statements show that Ms. Seaman far exceeds the highest standards for what a teacher should be, and is more than deserving to be recognized. Please give this nomination your most careful consideration.