Personal and Professional Testimonials
*These testimonials below are posted with the author’s permission.
David Britten, @colonelb, Superintendent Godfrey Lee Public Schools
It has been a privilege to work alongside Deedee these past two years as her superintendent and someone who truly admires her creativity and passion for early childhood learning. Deedee’s classroom organization of learning spaces and the learning activities she constructs for her young charges sets her apart in the profession. Her teaching distinguishes itself by the very fact that she demonstrates empathy for how young children learn, provides them with opportunities to think more deeply about what they are doing, and blends a healthy mixture of play, choice and freedom to learn in lesson planning. Deedee is not afraid to take risks and try new approaches. She develops a bond of mutual trust with her students any visitor to her classroom can see leads to a more engaging learning environment. She’s also stepped up to be a critical member of our district-wide, human-centered design project as we work collaboratively to rethink the learning process and what schools should look like in the 21st century. Her spirit and energy are refreshing and she’s definitely on the path to quickly becoming a master teacher.
Peter Geerling, @PGEERLING, Principal Godfrey Lee Early Childhood Center
Curious, fearless, ambitious, dedicated and collaborative are words that I feel best describe Deedee. With her relentless pursuit of providing the best educational experience for every student, Deedee has created an environment in her classroom where students and adults feel safe to learn creatively, ask questions and explore their learning at their own pace. Deedee is constantly pursing and implementing instructional strategies that will yield the greatest impact possible for all learners. Since joining our learning community, she has gone above and beyond the classroom and has had an impact on numerous school and district level committees that has helped broaden her reach as an educator. Through hard work and dedication Deedee has quickly gained respect and admiration from her peers and love and trust from our students and families. I can confidently say that I would feel fortunate to have my own children in her classroom.
Mary Wever, @WeverWorld, Director of & Instructor for the Graduate Certificate Programs in Educational Technology and Online Teaching & Learning (MAET) at Michigan State University, MACUL Board Member, Former Elementary School Teacher
I have known Deedee since 2013, and she never ceases to amaze me with her passion, creativity, and kind-heartedness. She truly loves being a teacher, and that is evident by her engagement in district committees, presentations at teaching conferences, her interactions on social media, and her close relationships with students. She passionately shares what she does with her students because she is proud of them, but that in turn, is inspiring teachers all over the world to follow her lead. I don’t think Deedee realizes the profound impact she has on people, so I’m happy to share my experience.
Deedee was a student teacher in my 4th grade classroom for the 2013-2014 school year. From the moment I met her, Deedee portrayed a very professional demeanor that was supported by a warm and welcoming smile. She made it a priority to get to know each child on an individual basis, and due to this, she was able to create strong lessons that were relevant to our students’ diverse needs. When we taught at Red Cedar in East Lansing, we had students from 45 countries who spoke 39 languages. Deedee managed a classroom with English Language Learners, general education students, and students who received services for Title I, Speech, and Social Work. With all this, she communicated regularly with parents, support teachers, and paraprofessionals so her students would receive the most intensive and appropriate support possible. Deedee has a natural ability to teach, but she is also very coachable and eager to try new practices to help her students.
Since her internship, Deedee and I have remained close professionally and personally. We have co-presented at teaching and technology conferences, designed classrooms together, served on a district committee using human-centered design to reshape learning in Godfrey Lee Public Schools, remained integral people within our PLNs, and even had dinner with each others’ families. In addition, I had the pleasure of seeing Deedee as a student again when she worked on her Master’s degree in the MAET program at MSU.
Sheri Conn, First grade teacher, Lansing Public Schools
I can truly say I was very fortunate meeting Deedee Stasiak! She was a senior at Michigan State University when she was place in our first grade classroom at Lyons Elementary. I was given the opportunity and pleasure of seeing her smiley face for an entire school year. Deedee taught four lessons and was thoughtful and organized in her approach to instruction and management. The students and I loved Ms. Stasiak 🙂 Her love and compassion for teaching came natural for her as she connected to each one of our students. Deedee realized, appreciated and encouraged each students’ unique contributions. She was always relaxed, positive and professional. It was her passion, dedication and energetic nature that enhanced the students to learn. She now has become a fabulous teacher for the last three years. We have a valued friendship that will last a lifetime. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to mentor Deedee and I know her students and families are lucky to have Ms. Stasiak as their first grade teacher!