Logan Elementary's Katy LaCroix recognized in Washington for excellence in culturally responsive teaching
Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher Katy LaCroix was honored in Washington D.C. Friday for her superior talent and commitment to educating students from diverse cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds.
LaCroix, a literacy specialist and fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Logan Elementary School, was one of five teachers nationwide to be selected for the first Teaching Tolerance Award.
The award was created by the Southern Poverty Law Center to recognize educators who excel at culturally responsive teaching. It was supported by a grant from the Richard W. Wiley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University. Each award recipient received $1,000.
She said the application and review process for the award was quite extensive. It included a crew from Education Week visiting Ann Arbor and videotaping LaCroix for a day. (Watch the video below).
“Katy is just amazing, and we are so very proud of her for not only being a leader in the building, but also for her work on Logan’s equity team,” Webster said.
She added LaCroix is an integral part of that team and presented with other members at a national conference on equity in schools last month.
LaCroix told the SPL Center one of her key strategies is getting to know her students on a personal and individual basis. When possible, she even attends basketball games or church services for the children she teaches, according to Education Week.
Webster said the genuine relationships LaCroix forms with her students help her to mold lesson plans to meet the individual learning styles of children of all nationalities.
“Culturally responsive teaching is not just about delivering the curriculum,” Webster said. “Knowing the culture of the students, their likes and dislikes and knowing their interests, makes Katy teach with a laser-like focus. She’s able to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all her students.”
Webster said LaCroix currently is working to obtain her doctorate in education and has hopes of becoming an administrator someday.
“Katy will make an amazing administrator, and I am certain that will happen sooner rather than later. She is precisely the type of administrator the district will need to continue working at eliminating the achieve gap.”
The other Teaching Tolerance Award winners were Silvestre Arcos, a middle school math teacher from the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in New York; Sonia Galaviz, a fifth-grade teacher from Endeavor Elementary in Nampa, Idaho; Amber Makaiau, a social studies teacher from Kailua High School in Oahu, Hawaii; and Tracy Oliver-Gary, a history teacher from Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland.
See LaCroix’s video with Education Week below.