Caron Scott was named the 2009 Fort Osage School District Educator of the Year at the district’s annual steak fry.

Caron Scott has only been in the Fort Osage School District for two years, but she has made a big impact.

“The teamwork here is fantastic,” said Scott, who is the instructional facilitator at Indian Trails Elementary. “It truly is a family here. Our teachers would do anything to meet the needs of students. We all make sure they get what they need to learn.”

Scott was named the 2009 Fort Osage School District Educator of the Year at the district’s annual steak fry. In addition to recognizing the educator of the year nominees, the 2009 Pioneers of Education were honored, years of service awards were given out and employees retiring from the school district this year were honored.

The 2009 Pioneers of Education are former Board of Education member Carl Francka, former teachers Rosemary Garten and Mary Harper and former teacher and administrator Jan Lonsbury.

Scott said it is “quite and honor” to be recognized by her peers in such a way. She has been a teacher for nine years, coming to Fort Osage in 2007 in order to prepare for her role at Indian Trails, which opened less than a year ago. As an instructional facilitator, Scott works with teachers and students to strengthen reading and literacy skills.

“I love working with children, and I love reading,” she said. “I love seeing the light bulb come on when they learn something new. That is exciting for me.”

Indian Trails Principal Emily Cross said she believes Scott is deserving just to be among the educators that received Building Educator of the Year recognition. She thinks Scott receiving the district honor is “fantastic.”

“Learning is her focus,” she said. “Whether it is a child or an adult, learning is contagious when you are around her.”

Melissa Schrock, a first grade teacher at Indian Trails, said she was thrilled when she heard Scott’s name called. She said she is not just a phenomenal teacher, but a phenomenal teaching coach.

“It is not only that she teaches the kids, but she teaches the teachers,” she said. “She truly meets you on her level. She makes learning fun, and she is always student-based with the best practices as her focus.”

Scott said coming to the Fort Osage School District has been an “honor and privilege,” a decision she is happy she made.

“This is not an award for me, it is an award for my team,” she said. “I started at this building with an amazing team of teachers. These teachers have a heart for the children at Indian Trails, and they do what it takes for a child to learn.”

Other educator of the year nominees were Dianne Sisson, Blue Hills; Jeannie Hazelrigg, Buckner Elementary; Sara Kaleikau, Cler-Mont Elementary; David Wheeldon, Fire Prairie; Jeanne Hutter, Osage Trail; Mendi Spencer, Fort Osage High School; Bill Lieb, Career and Technology Center; Robin Garrett, Lewis and Clark learning Center; Amber Rumpel, McCune School and Donna Melgaard, Early Childhood Center.