A Colchester High School teacher known for a commitment to breaking down barriers faced by minority and refugee families was named Vermont’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.
Susan Rosato, an English Learner teacher, was celebrated Thursday by students and state and local education officials, who noted her role in growing the English language program for the district’s non-native speakers. Rosato also created an annual summer learning program and made videos to help communicate the Colchester School District’s COVID-19 plan.
Colchester School District Superintendent Amy Minor also lauded Rosato for designing a course for teachers on how to more effectively deliver lessons to help mainstream English learning students in all classes.
“When low expectations are created and believed, they become a person’s reality,” Rosato said. “So what I see as my job is to build my students up so they can be everything they want to be.”
Ranjita Sarki, a senior, said she’s learned more than English from Rosato..
“She’s always looking out for me, not just me but for everyone,” she said. “She’ll push you hard and when you’re about to give up she’s like ‘No, you’re so much worth.'”
The job does not come without its challenges to make sure the learning environment is equitable and inclusive for all.
“To make sure the material put in front of my students is the correct language level for them so they don’t feel like they’re floating out at sea without any kind of raft,” Rosato sad. “So myself and my colleagues have to make ourselves be that raft.”