UNION — Mrs. Amy Truitt, art teacher, was recently chosen by the faculty of Foster Park Elementary School to be their 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Truitt, formerly known as Amy Hawkins, is a Union native. She received both her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Converse College. She is certified to teach Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Elementary, and Art Education.
Mrs. Truitt has been teaching now for 17 years. She taught for nine years at Jonesville Elementary School, and has been at Foster Park Elementary School since then. She has taught resource, fourth grade, second grade, third grade, and presently teaches art.
When asked what her philosophy and main focus of teaching are Mrs. Truitt says she tries to make all students feel loved and accepted so that they can have the freedom to be themselves when they come into the art room.
“Feeling comfortable and safe goes a long way in being able to come into any kind of classroom and learn and be successful,” Truitt said. “I try to focus on the state arts standards, as well as to integrate with the regular classroom teachers to compliment what they are teaching. Students must make connections in order for their learning to become permanent.
“I also try to write some type of grant each year so that the students at FPES can have unique arts experiences that will further enhance their learning and open up a whole new world of possibilities for them,” she said. “We buy additional supplies, as well as hire many professional artists to come into our school and work with our students.”
Mrs. Truitt says that Foster Park is such a positive place to work and everyone tries hard to work together like a team to see that the students all receive a wonderful education.
A faculty member commented, “Mrs. Truitt writes grants and gets them funded, goes the extra mile by planning arts night, integrates grade level standards into art, and she has high expectations for students.”
Another staff member wrote, “Amy goes above and beyond to make each student in this school feel special. She spends limitless hours; not only during school, but also before and after, to help the students accomplish their work. She is instrumental in getting their work displayed, not only in the school, but throughout the community.”
The faculty gathered for a “surprise” faculty meeting where the announcement was made that Mrs. Truitt had been chosen for this honor. She explains about the meeting and surprise announcement, “A slide show was being presented and all of a sudden there it was on the screen, my name and that I was the Teacher of the Year. I was in total shock. I never dreamed I would be chosen for this. If everyone knew what kind of wonderful, dedicated people I work with at FPES, then they would understand why I am so deeply humbled to be chosen to represent them.”
The event was made even more special for Mrs. Truitt because her was family was there when it announced that she’d been named the FPES Teacher of the Year.
Pictured with Mrs. Truitt are her parents, Gary and Norma Hawkins of West Springs, as well as her husband, ”Preacher Mark” Truitt of Beulah Baptist Church, and two daughters, Madyson, 10, and Katelyn, 6.
“Not only was I shocked and honored by this announcement, but my family being there to share in it with me made it even more special,” Mrs. Truitt said. “God is so good to me. Much more than I will ever deserve.”