Laura Sudderth Finalist, San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year

Third-grade instructor Laura Sudderth has taught at Lincoln Elementary School (Manteca Unified School District) for 31 years.

"I'm just really about the growth mindset."
"We keep trying and really talking about that at the beginning of the school year so that students know that it's okay to make mistakes. This is how we learn."
"My focus mainly is wanting students to be the best that they can be ..."
"I do whatever it takes to let them know that they are valuable, that they're important ..."
"And whatever they do -- whether it's making a mistake or doing something great -- I'm just encouraging them to be that the best that they can be emotionally because that's huge ..."
"If you can't attach to a person emotionally, you're not going to be able to teach them ..."
"So, to me, that's the most important thing. If they feel good about themselves and comfortable, then they can grow as a person academically and emotionally ..."
"So I know that I'm there for them academically and emotionally and wanting them to grow in both areas. That's my main goal."
"Mrs. Sudderth is 'that teacher.' The teacher we all aspire to be, the teacher we want our own kids to have, the teacher that makes our younger generation want to be teachers. Parents request her and visitors to her class rave about the exceptional learning environment that she provides," writes Lincoln Elementary Principal Randi Fowzer in her nomination.
"Not only is (Sudderth's classroom) warm and inviting to all, but you can immediately see and feel the connections that she is making with her students."