Hazelwood Elementary, Brier Terrace Middle teachers share October Rotary ‘Educator of Month’


Debbie Lindgren has felt very at home as a Hazelwood Elementary School fourth-grade teacher.

In part, that’s because she grew up in Edmonds and graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School.

The former Hilltop teacher is sharing the Rotary Club of Alderwood-Terrace’s October Educator of the Month with Brier Terrace Middle School science teacher Laura Koday. The two were honored in an Oct. 13 ceremony at Swedish Edmonds Hospital.

“There is a strong sense of community within Debbie’s classroom,” Hazelwood principal Tim Parnell said. “Children learn quickly to look after one another and to help support one another to learn and grow. Debbie’s students quickly discover they are a part of ‘Team Lindgren.’ ”

In addition, Lindgren is a strong collaborator with her colleagues. She meets with them before and after school discussing curriculum, instruction, assessments, and individual students. Her fourth-grade team is widely known for how well they collaborate together with a strong focus on student learning and growth.

Laura Koday worked with Brier Terrace Middle staff to pilot and adopt Second Step, a research-based social-emotional learning curriculum. She also founded the Trauma Informed Practices team, which examines the impact of stress and trauma on learning. She’s trained staff and continues to support students who’ve been affected by stress and trauma.

She proposed the school’s new Bulldog PRIDE language to teach empathy, grift, integrity, kindness, and responsibility, characteristics that help students succeed in middle school. She also coordinated the school’s Bulldog Days at the beginning of the school year in order “to help students feel welcome, valued and confident” before beginning their classes, Principal Alex Alexander said.

— Story provided by the Edmonds School District

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