SUCCESSORIES: Congratulations to our fourth quarter winners!

photo grid of B-P logo with portraits of middle school TA, kindergarten teacher, third grade teacher, middle school TA and high school math teacher

Presenting the fourth quarter Successories winners of the 2017-18 school year. From the left are middle school teaching assistant Samara Smith, kindergarten teacher Susan Arehart, third grade teacher Jen Wilcox, middle school teaching assistant Tom Horning and high school math teacher Rachel Shrome.

Congratulations to Broadalbin-Perth’s 4th Quarter Successories winners! This quarter’s winners are:

  • TLC kindergarten teacher Susan Arehart
  • Intermediate school third grade teacher Jen Wilcox
  • Middle school teaching assistant Tom Horning
  • Middle school teaching assistant Samara Smith
  • High school math teacher Rachel Shrome

Successories is a staff recognition program that gives people a way to say ‘thank you’ whenever they feel as though a B-P faculty or staff member is going above and beyond for students. This quarter’s winners will receive a $25 restaurant gift card. Samara Smith is this quarter’s grand prize winner and will additionally receive a personal day, which Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will cover.

Prekindergarten teacher Kerri Barker was selected as the grand prize winner for the 2017-18 Successories program. She won a $100 gift card. Her name was chosen at random from a pool of all the Successories nominations received during the past school year.

Some fun facts about this year’s Successories program:

  • More than 60 district employees received nominations.
  • Many employees received multiple nominations. Prekindergarten teacher Chrissy Plunkett received the most at four.
  • Altogether there were more than 100 nominations. Seventy-five of them were submitted online.

Teacher: ‘Samara is always asking what more she can do to make the students’ days better’

portrait of middle school teaching assistant

Samara Smith

Samara Smith is a teaching assistant at Broadalbin-Perth Middle School, and is the grand prize Successories winner for the fourth quarter.

Smith was nominated by math teacher Ana Ventre, with whom Smith works. Ventre recognized Smith’s ability to connect with students and her willingness to go the extra mile for them.

“Samara is always asking what more she can do to make the students’ days better,” the nomination says. “She truly appreciates the students and is always so positive with them. She helps in my room after school with homework and test corrections, so the students have two adults helping them with what they need. This allows us to work with the 7th and 8th graders at the same time. There have been a few times that I could not stay after, and she stayed with a student to make sure they had the help they needed, even though I was not even here!”

“I mentioned wanting to do paper plate awards for my seventh grade class, and gave her a list of my ideas…she made hand-colored, beautiful individualized awards that the students LOVED!!!” the nomination continued. “I cannot say enough nice things about her. She has just been a huge asset to my room and the school this year, and really has the most beautiful personality for working with students.”

Smith is a 2012 B-P graduate who started working as a TA at the middle school this year. She said she wanted to cry when she received her nomination because she was so happy. 

“I’m the type of person who will do anything for anyone and I don’t expect anything in return,” she said. “Sometimes you can feel like an unsung hero, so it feels really good to be recognized.”

Smith said she’s a shy person, but as an alumna of the district, she feels deeply connected to her coworkers and the students. She said it’s important to her to make the students feel safe under her care.

“I try to adapt my tutoring as best as I can to the students’ different learning styles,” she said. “No one learns the same thing the same way, so I adapt everything to the way the students do it and encourage them the best I can.”


Parent to Arehart: ‘Thank you for treating my child like your own’

portrait of kindergarten teacher

Susan Arehart

Susan Arehart is a kindergarten teacher at The Learning Community. Arehart was nominated by a parent who recognized how Arehart tailored a child’s education to help them meet their full potential.

“Thank you for treating my child like your own!” the nomination says. “I truly appreciate the care and attention you give to my daughter. From recognizing that she was bored in math and testing her to see if advanced math would be something she would enjoy, to encouraging her reading ability. She absolutely loves school because of you! I appreciate the constant communication and dedication you give to not only my child, but to every student you teach. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Arehart said the nomination and Successories win marked a great way to end the school year.

“I was honestly choked up as I read my nomination,” Areheart said. “I was genuinely touched. Successories is an important program as it gives teachers a moment of recognition for their hard work and dedication to their students. Teachers work endlessly throughout the school year to educate our students and to make a real difference in their lives. We don’t do it for recognition, but it sure feels good when we are reminded that we are truly appreciated by our district and by the parents we serve.”

Parent to Wilcox: ‘You always brighten everyone’s day’

portrait of a third grade teacher

Jen Wilcox

Jen Wilcox is a third grade teacher at the intermediate school. She was nominated by a student and their parent who recognized Wilcox’s ability to connect with her students.

“Thank you for always making me smile,” the nomination says. “Whenever I walk into class you always brighten everyone’s day with a hug, smile, handshake or a personal gesture of our choice. You especially make me feel loved when I am away from home because you are soft spoken, caring, energetic, and loving to the class and myself. Thank you for being such a great third grade teacher.”

Wilcox said it was heartwarming to learn she had been nominated by a student.

“I’m glad my students feel comfortable and loved in my classroom,” she said. “If we don’t have those moments in the classroom, we don’t connect. Every kid wants to be seen by the adults in their lives, so that’s what I aim for every day.”


Principal to Horning: ‘Tommy took students under his wing’

portrait of a middle school teaching assistant

Tom Horning

Tom Horning is a teaching assistant at the middle school. He was nominated as a Successory by Principal Wayne Bell and Secretary Kim Nichols.

“Thank you for covering for anyone who has ever needed help,” the nomination says. “Tommy stays late when needed to ensure the safety of students. He visits and is around students during their lunch time, on his planning period or during his own lunch. Tommy took three students under his wing to assist in positive interventions with the administration and counselors. Tommy is always positive and willing to help out.”

Horning said this is his first year working in education, and he was honored to be recognized.

“It was nice to see that people notice me connecting with the kids,” he said. “That’s the most fun and most important part of the job. I love it. I’m excited to wake up and go to work everyday, because it doesn’t feel like work.”


Student to Shrome: ‘I look up to you and hope I made you proud these last few years’

portrait of a high school math teacher

Rachel Shrome

High school math teacher Rachel Shrome was nominated as a Successory by a student whom she taught for several years.

“Thank you for my being my best friend throughout high school and always putting up with me,” the nomination says. “You’ve taught me a lot about growing up, and because of you, I’m not so scared about it anymore. You were always my favorite teacher and the best person in the school. You have a big heart and you are incredibly smart. I look up to you and hope I made you proud these last few years. Being your student made me proud and feel accomplished. Thank you for all that you have done for me, from teaching me geometry, helping me with trigonometry homework, to being a friend and listening to all of my ramblings about my problems. You deserve more than a gift card.”

Shrome said it isn’t easy to connect with students while teaching a subject like math, but she was excited that a student recognized how much she cares.

“Teaching math is secondary,” Shrome said “It’s about connecting with the kids and letting them know how much I care about their grades and their well-being. To have one of them acknowledge that was humbling.”