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Galer teacher top in district

By Sgt. Lukas Atwell | | January 26, 2007

Sgt. Lukas M. Atwell
Press Chief

A teacher at Laurel Bay’s Robert E. Galer Elementary School was recognized as the 2007 Department of Defense Education Activity District Teacher of the Year for the DoD South Carolina/Fort Stewart District.

Dori Lassey, an instructional support teacher at Galer, was considered along with teachers from Fort Stewart, Ga., Fort Jackson, and Laurel Bay to represent nine schools and over 200 teachers that make up the district.

Lassey, a teacher with more than 32 years of experience, received the award in November during a week-long leadership forum at the DoDEA headquarters in Arlington, Va., where she met other awardees from the 14 DoD school districts across the world.

“It was an inspiration and an honor,” Lassey said. “It’s a great experience to meet the people who make the DoD schools what they are.”  

During the leadership forum, the awardees toured Washington D.C., the Pentagon and participated in a workshop at the Smithsonian.

The district winners were each awarded $2,500 to spend for their classrooms, during a recognition dinner held by the DoDEA Director.

Lassy said she is considering using the money to buy more books for the children to bring home or read in class.

“I believe that by supporting those children who are just learning to read and do math, I can make a difference that will impact their future and the way they view themselves in the school community,” Lassey said.

In order to be considered for the award, Lassey had to be nominated by another teacher.

“Dori embodies every quality that a great teacher possesses,” said Sandy Somerall, a former Galer teacher who nominated Lassey for the award. “She understands young children and is committed to their learning.”

“She actively pursues children who need extra help to reach the reading and math levels for their grade,” said Noel Tillman, principal of Galer.  “(Lassey) goes over and above the routine duties of a teacher,”

According to Tillman, Lassy also has started a reading club and initiated a mentor program to get parents and adults from the community to read with the children.

“Parents have such a vital role in their children’s learning,” Lassey said. “I do all I can to encourage them to come in to school to read with children or just observe.”

Editor’s note: If you are interested in reading with a child and can spare a minimum of 30 minutes a week contact Galer Elementary at 846-6100 and leave your contact information or e-mail Lassey at dori.lassey@am.dodea.edu.