Our early elementary honoree’s application begins with the following statement: “I strive daily to achieve excellence at my school.” She works with students from all types of backgrounds and exceptionalities yet is intent on looking at the ability of the student rather than the disability. Because she believes that each of her unique students can be successful if they work hard and give their best, she focuses on differentiating instruction in order to meet them where they are. She recognizes that it is her job to help set a good foundation for her students so they can achieve excellence and therefore experience success in life. One reference states that she has gained the trust of some of the most challenging students and their families with her calm and intuitive nature. She inspires confidence and accepts each for who they are, not just in students, but in staff and families as well. Noted in another letter of recommendation as extremely intelligent, energetic, and exceptionally well organized, she is highly respected by her peers as well as school and district administration. Described as a “rare find,” she is said to be well-trained, ambitious, and yet very open-minded and reflective of her own practice. Labeled as a “priceless asset to both her school and this parish,” it should be no surprise that she has earned this district-level honor. Ladies and gentlemen, join me in saluting our Early Grades Teacher of the Year, from Glen View Elementary School, Phylisha Taylor.