Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Frontier Elementary School
School District: Palm Beach Schools
City, State: Loxahatchee, Florida
About the Nominee: Michelle O'Sullivan was nominated by her principal, Susan Groth. Mrs. O’Sullivan is an exemplary educator whose expertise, professionalism and dedication are worthy of being emulated. She is a stellar teacher who consistently promotes excellence in education by inspiring students to reach their fullest potential. Professional growth and development are paramount to Mrs. O'Sullivan; she is a lifelong learner who is never content with the status quo. She analyzes data and seeks out research-based resources and high yield strategies to ensure mastery and at least a year’s worth of growth for all students entrusted to her.
Leadership is an attribute that Mrs. O’Sullivan possesses and readily shares with colleagues on a daily basis. She is the first grade team leader and has led her team successfully through vast curriculum changes for the past 4 years. Palm Beach Schools adopted research-based literacy materials in the elementary grades that had a special focus on meeting Florida Standards using a Balanced Literacy approach. Mrs. O’Sullivan was instrumental in articulating how to unpack standards and teach to the extent of the rigor intended in the standards. At the same time, she personalized lessons to meet the needs of her students. She facilitates weekly Learning Team Meetings, where she empowers her team to plan differentiated lessons aligned to the Florida Standards using a Balanced Literacy Approach based on the needs of each teacher’s class.
Mrs. O’Sullivan has taken on many vital roles at Frontier Elementary, all of which have been performed to the highest degree of expertise and 5-STAR quality. She was invited to be on the district task force, where she was asked to share her literacy expertise, high yield instructional practices and comprehensive systems of tracking student data. She is the Facilitator for SAGES, a Standards-Based Report Card Reporting System where she attends professional development and shares the information learned with teachers, administrators and parents in a clear and concise manner.
Mrs. O'Sullivan has immersed herself in the ‘Green School’ environmental initiative, where she is directing a group of students to create online publications and videos of innovative environmental projects at Frontier. She is also a vital member of the Literacy Committee, in which she collaborates with colleagues to enhance literacy instruction school-wide.
In closing, Mrs. O’Sullivan is a well-respected member of her school's faculty. She is an educator who is continuously making a difference in the lives of students through her dedication and high expectations.