Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Helendale Elementary School
School District: Helendale School District
City, State: Helendale, California
About the Nominee: Lucie Papia was nominated by her principal, Cindy Espinoza.
Lucie Papia has been with Helendale Elementary School for over twenty years. Over the past five years, she has perfected her craft in writing so that she can better prepare her first grade students for what’s expected from Common Core Standards. She has attended several Lucy Calkins Workshops which have proven to be a contributing factor in her students’ achievements with nonfictional writing. This year, Mrs. Papia took this approach a step further and tied the Lucy Calkins Literature Workshop to the Writing Workshop approach. This has enabled her to increase the level of nonfiction her students get in their into daily leveled reading. Reading nonfiction was once a struggle for students, but it has now become a gateway of adventure for them. Students are finding that what was once hard for them to comprehend and recite is easier for them to retell.
Another contribution that Mrs. Papia has made to Helendale Elementary is the Annual Giving Tree. She has led this program, which provides local families in need with Christmas presents, for several years. This year, the school was also invited to participate in the Oasis Hair Salon fundraiser. Once again, Mrs. Papia took the lead and went shopping for additional presents for these families. When asked what sparked the desire for her to take this on, she said it was something that was once provided to her when she was in need, and that she now has a way to pay it forward.
Most recently, Mrs. Papia and her grade level partners held a 1st Grade Literacy Night for their students and parents. The night was filled with strategies that the parents could use at home while working with their child. Parents were taught how to test their child on sight words to have a better insight on their child’s academic level. They received raffle tickets for attending with the opportunity to receive books as prizes. Many parents commented on what a great evening the event was and left with a better understanding of how they can support their child with the new Common Core Standards. Overall, Mrs. Papia’s compassion and generosity make her stand out as a LifeChanger!