Congratulations Mrs. Higgins and Mrs. Guydan

Brookside Place School is proud to recognize the recipients of its Governor's Educator of the Year Award and its Educational Services Professional of the Year Award for 2021. Mrs. Theresa Higgins, a teacher of third grade, and Mrs. Karen Guydan, classroom assistant and lunch aide supervisor, are this year's honorees.

“We are thrilled to highlight the contributions of Mrs. Higgins and Mrs. Guydan through this annual recognition program,” said Brookside Place School Principal Michael Klimko. “Through the years they have proven themselves to be individuals who are dedicated to helping students improve as both learners and people of character.”

Mrs. Higgins has been an educator for 16 years and has been part of the Brookside Place School faculty since 2012. During her career she has taught kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 3 and Grade 4. For the last nine years she has been a third grade teacher at BPS.

“I really enjoy teaching third grade and challenging my students to become responsible, independent learners,” said Mrs. Higgins. “The students are my favorite aspect of teaching. I love trying to figure out what makes them tick so I can understand how to motivate them so they can become the best version of themselves. I love the unique qualities that each of my students brings to the classroom. There is never a dull moment when you are a teacher, and I love it!”

Mrs. Higgins also places a focus on creating a classroom that encourages growth. “The environment I create in a classroom is just as important, if not more important, as teaching my students how to multiply or write a personal narrative. Allowing students to feel safe is important ~ safe to make mistakes, safe to take a risk, and just feel safe to be who they are. This isn't always easy, but it is something I strive for each year.”

Mrs. Karen Guydan is in her eighth year at Brookside Place School. She began as a Lunch Aide in September of 2014 and quickly became an integral part of the BPS community. She has worked as a Classroom Assistant or CRA in many grades with the bulk of her experience at the kindergarten level. She also has experience as a one-on-one aide. When she is not in the classroom, Mrs. Guydan can be found on the playground or in the lunchroom in her role as Lunch Aide Supervisor overseeing lunchtime and recess. She is known as a helpful colleague who is always willing to go above and beyond in either of her roles. 

“Brookside is a special community with dedicated teachers and support staff, so I feel very honored to be recognized this way. I truly love working with the students and seeing them make connections, whether that is a new concept or a new friendship.” Mrs. Guydan explained. “I also love seeing them grow and change through the years. Since I meet so many of them in kindergarten and through the lunch/recess hour, it is really a joy to see them go from little ones to fifth graders ready for middle school.”

The Governor’s Educator of the Year program recognizes teachers and educational support staff who are exemplary professionals in their field. Recipients are nominated by their school communities.