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Leslie Conklin – Alta View Elementary School

Mrs. Conklin, my first-grade teacher, was the best teacher I’ve ever had. She’s energetic, full of new ideas and always cheerful and has a smile on her face. She did lots of fun hands-on activities that helps illustrate what we learned that month on worksheets and in our books.

She encouraged me to read at a higher level than where I was already reading. She introduced us to Junior Great Books, where we could have discussions and learning activities related to the themes in the books.

She taught me art skills, such as outlining in black and shadowing. I appreciate art more and still use now what I learned now. One art project was creating our own stain glass windows out of paper, food coloring and corn syrup. It was one of my favorite activities and I still have it in my window two years later!

Another fun thing she did was have us create huge charts to track favorite kinds of apples, color of our eyes and other things we could relate to and have fun with. Since we were an accelerated class, she even taught us our times tables.

As a reward for being good and answering hard questions in class, we received Bear Bucks. We could use them at a Bear Buck store each month. The store had assorted items (some fun, some educational) that parents donated to encourage us in class.

Mrs. Conklin’s love of teaching and care of my classmates didn’t end when first grade ended. She still gives us a big warm hug, asks us what we’re doing in our classes and even gives my preschool sister things to work on and challenge her. Last year, she came and waited more than an hour at the state Reflections program to see me read my literature entry to the auditorium and informed everyone at the school when I won. It’s her care for kids and passion of teaching is why she should win!

–Amelia Slama-Catron

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