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My SPS: Sherry Charbonneau, early childhood teacher at Shady Dell Early Childhood Center

Sept. 21, 2022

My SPS: Sherry Charbonneau, early childhood teacher at Shady Dell Early Childhood Center

Sherry: “On my way to our Activate SPS meeting, a friend called me. She and I taught at Weller Elementary together.  Her name is Shayla Bernelis and she is a literacy coach at an SPS school.  She was on an interview team this year, and she shared how one person's story touched her. This person had a student who attended Weller and her child was in my kindergarten class. This applicant shared how her child's kindergarten teacher involved parents in the classroom as volunteers and because she helped in the class, she was inspired to become a teacher. So she enrolled in college as a mother of two small children, and she got her degree.  This year, Sarah Prewitt is a new third-grade teacher for SPS at my friend's school.  My friend wanted to share this story with me,  because she said, "You not only inspire children, but you inspire our student's parents!" It made my day!  Then today, my Facebook had a memory from nine years ago and a picture. In the picture is that little kindergartner!  Again, it inspired me after a long day of preparing for another group of new students. I've been an educator in Missouri since 1988. Every year just keeps getting better with SPS, because I am reaping the rewards of seeds planted years ago!”

Sarah: “Ms. Charobonneau told me that I could be a teacher, that I could go to college, that I could work with children and make a difference. When I met her, I was a waitress, and I was broke, but I wanted to be around my daughter, so I volunteered in Ms. Charbonneau’s class. I found myself really enjoying being around children and helping them learn. I thought I could maybe be a paraprofessional, and then I thought, maybe I could be a teacher? But I didn’t know if I could do it. She gave me the confidence to go after a dream I had for myself, a dream to change my life for myself and my children. She believed in me, and she loved my daughter, Sailor, making a safe space for her students and their families to learn and grow. Now, I get to do that for my students at McGregor.”

Sailor: “I’m an eighth grader at Reed Academy now, but Ms. Charbonneau is still one of my favorite teachers. She was always so calm and so kind to me, my friends. Weller was a great school and I love how much fun I had there. I’m excited for my mom to be that kind of teacher at a school like Weller.”

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