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Pat Ashcroft – North Park Elementary School

Mrs. Pat Ashcroft teaches kindergarten. She does a fantastic job and goes above and beyond the call of duty everyday. Mrs. Ashcroft arrives at school before 7am each morning and stays late each evening trying to make sure that everything is just right for her students. I would like to share a few examples of Mrs. Ashcroft’s dedication to her students.

Mrs. Ashcroft is the only teacher at North Park that participates in the Opera by Children program. This program enables children to write and produce their own opera. Because Mrs. Ashcroft teaches kindergarten, she does 2 operas each year, one for her morning class and one for her afternoon class. There isn’t any extra time built into the school year for this program, yet Mrs. Ashcroft finds time for her classes to have this amazing experience. She helps the students to write the script, paint the scenery, learn the music and practice performing. Mrs. Ashcroft recruits parents to help with painting the scenery and the costumes, but she does the bulk of the work. Participation in the opera enables students to gain confidence performing in front of peers and an audience, as well as learning art and music skills. I saw remarkable changes in my son over the course of the opera. I can’t tell you what his favorite part of the opera is because he always loved the part they were working on! It was a wonderful evening when the students were able to perform their opera for their families.

Mrs. Ashcroft provides several different opportunities for parents to visit the classroom and see what their child is learning. A few examples include special friend day, an alphabet parade, a musical performance during December and another in May at the end of the school year. Each time the children sang a few songs and shared what they had been doing at school.

Mrs. Ashcroft is diligent about documenting the kindergarten experience for each child in her class. She takes pictures regularly, prints them, and then puts together a kindergarten scrapbook for each child. For both of her classes that is about 50 scrapbooks that she puts together each year. In addition to the pictures, Mrs. Ashcroft keeps writing assignments and/or art projects throughout the year. The scrapbook is an amazing keepsake of physical growth, knowledge and skills that my son gained during kindergarten. It is so wonderful to see pictures of the different activities and to have this record of my son’s kindergarten year.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, last year Mrs. Ashcroft was taking care of her aging mother-in-law. This placed a huge physical and emotional burden on her, yet she continued to strive for excellence in her classroom and with her students.

Now the school year has started, I am again reminded of the important role of teachers. I am so thankful for Mrs. Ashcroft. I couldn’t have asked for a better kindergarten situation for my son. He thoroughly enjoyed kindergarten and looked forward to school each day. He is well prepared for first grade and has a strong foundation for his schooling. Mrs. Ashcroft is a remarkable teacher and an amazing lady that is deserves some extra recognition.

Thank you for your consideration.

Cheri Olsen