The Sultan-Monroe Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington have named Christi Crescenzo, a teacher at Frank Wagner Elementary, Teacher of the Year. She received the news from her principal, Robin Fitch, at a recent staff meeting.
“It is such an honor,” said Crescenzo, “and when I think of the process that goes into it, I feel very touched.”
Crescenzo has taught a multi-age class of 12 students with challenges in a self-contained classroom at Frank Wagner for the last three years. She has been a teacher for 16 years. She started out teaching teens with developmental disabilities at the high school level.
“I thought, ‘If I was an elementary teacher, here’s what I would do,’” she said. “And now I have that chance. I am planting seeds for skills they will need for the rest of their lives.”
Crescenzo works to expand what her students can do and achieve.
“I always write the word ‘disAbilities’ because it puts emphasis on the abilities my students have in all facets of learning,” she says.
“Christi is a powerhouse teacher for students with special needs,” says Fitch, who nominated Crescenzo for the award. “She goes out of her way to teach skills in a creative and memorable way.”
“She takes the training provided by the district to the ‘next level,” said Lara Cole, Executive Director of Student Services for the district, who also nominated Crescenzo for the award, “and she extends those strategies to meet the needs of her particular population.”
“I have a unique teaching job,” said Crescenzo. “We don’t work from a curriculum book; I develop their programs and manage over 115 data sheets to monitor their progress with their individualized programs.”