Teacher Lauded by Wal-Mart
A veteran teacher at Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School has been honored by the Wal-Mart on Palmer Road as the area’s Teacher of the Year.
Kathleen A. Deschamps has spent her entire teaching career in her hometown.
WARE - A veteran teacher at Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School has been honored by the Wal-Mart on Palmer Road as the area’s Teacher of the Year.
Kathleen A. Deschamps, who has taught second grade here since 1977, received the award last month during Teacher Appreciation Week. The laurels make her eligible for a similar statewide honor from Wal-Mart, which can lead to eligibility for the national award.
In addition to receiving a recognition certificate, Deschamps earned a $100 Wal-Mart gift certificate for classroom supplies. The store gave $1,000 to the elementary school for use on its second-grade classes.
Earlier this year, Deschamps was among 146 educators in Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties to receive one of the 2007 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards, presented annually in recognition of teachers’ commitment and impact on children.
“To get both awards in one year, it certainly makes you feel good, that you’re doing a good job,” Deschamps said. “I love my job and work hard at what I do. It’s nice to get some recognition.”
Koziol principal Jeffrey F. Cross said Deschamps, who also is coordinator of the elementary school’s summer school program, is conscientious and well respected by her peers. He noted that she serves on the school’s professional development committee.
“Kathy is a wonderful teacher, student-centered all the way,” he said. “She is always professional, always very enthusiastic, and takes on new challenges. She does a very nice job.”
Deschamps was nominated for the Wal-Mart award by a Ware parent. Born and raised here, Deschamps noted that her love of children dates back to her childhood and being the second born of seven children. Her maiden name was Sloat.
“I had relatives who were teachers,” she said. “I love little kids and working with them. At the elementary school level, you can make such a difference. You can see it.”
She has two grown children, Meghan K., 25, of Ware, who is a kindergarten teacher at the elementary school, and Michael W., 23, of Ware, who graduated this year from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and is working in Connecticut as a project engineer.
Deschamps, who has spent her entire teaching career in her hometown, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Westfield State College and a master’s degree in elementary education integrated studies from Cambridge College. Her leisure pursuits include genealogy, reading fiction, and house and garden projects.
She was educated in the Ware public schools, as were her children. She said she has no current plans to retire.
“I think we all have to give back to our communities,” she said. “I think Ware is a great place. It was when I was growing up, and it still is. I think you have to stay local and make your community a better place.”
Kathleen A. Deschamps, a second-grade teacher at Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School in Ware, has been named a Wal-Mart teacher of the year. She also received a 2007 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a Ware resident.
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