Teresa Slaton has been awarded the double honor of Teacher of the Year for Sweetwater Intermediate School and SISD Teacher of the Year for the 2010-2011 school year.
Slaton is a fourth grade teacher and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at Sweetwater Intermediate School. All of her 18 years of teaching have taken place in Sweetwater ISD.
Slaton graduated Cum Laude from Angelo State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education.
She has been a member of numerous programs, including two terms equaling five years on the Campus Council Committee. Slaton was the chairperson for the ESL Textbook Committee and has served on the Math and Reading Textbook Committees. She has also been a member of the Rising Star Committee and TCTA.
Slaton has also received the Who's Who in Classroom Teachers award, being nominated by a former student.
Her involvement in community activities is varied through many programs. In church activities, Slaton has been an AWANA commander, Wiseguys leader, G.A. leader, co-director of Children's Choir and a Primary Sunday school teacher.
In the community, she has been a Girl Scout Troop leader, T-Ball coach, soccer team mom, softball team mom and has held the Treasurer and President positions in the Rolling Plains Girls' Softball program.
Involvement in the school district includes being a four-year member of the East Ridge PTO, serving on several committees. Currently, Slaton is a member of the Sweetwater Intermediate School PTO, previously serving as President for one year. During her time in office, she served as chairperson of the Yearbook Committee created under her leadership.
Slaton's inspiration for teaching came from the life and lack of educational experiences of her late grandmother born in the 1900s, who she considers as her "role model and a large influence in my life". As a fifth grader, Slaton's grandmother had to drop out of school in order to work in the cotton fields and help her family.
"However, that did not stop her from becoming one of the smartest people I ever knew," Slaton recollected. "The shelf in her living room was filled with every kind of book imaginable. She taught herself new concepts by reading every book she could find and continued this throughout her adult life."
Her grandmother's passion for learning and the everyday opportunities for people to learn something new were values Slaton says were instilled in her at an early age.
"I always loved school, and I loved learning. However, I can remember classmates who had a difficult time in school. I always wanted to help them learn and make them feel successful."
Because of that passion from as long as she can remember, Slaton wants that success to pass on to her students. "I have wanted to teach children and see the smile on their faces when they learn a new concept and accomplish something that they thought was too difficult or impossible. Everyday my students walk through my classroom door with different life experiences and different strengths and weaknesses. It is my responsibility as a their teacher to find a way to turn their weaknesses into strengths and to make their strengths even stronger."
But beyond the strengths and weaknesses, Slaton wants to provide more to her students, giving them love and confidence to achieve their life dreams.
"Each year I am given 180 days to teach, guide and influence the students who walk through my classroom door. It is my belief that when they walk out of my classroom for the last time they will leave feeling smarter, more confident, and knowing that their fourth grade teacher loves them and believes that they will accomplish great things in their lifetime."