Heidi Flannery has been a Pathways Patriot since the school opened in 1997.
Heidi Flannery has been at Pathways Elementary since the start.
Having been teaching since 1995, Flannery was one of the original Pathways Patriots when the school opened in 1997, and she said it's been amazing to see it grow over the years. The nomination to represent the school as its Teacher of the Year is an honor for Flannery.
"Being chosen by my peers is a powerful tribute to all the handwork that each of us put into our jobs daily," she said. "Every single teacher at Pathways is deserving."
She didn't always know her heart was education. Flannery decided to major in education in college because she loved children. It wasn't until she started teaching that she realized she was right where she was supposed to be. Currently, Flannery is an academic coach and works with all the teachers and classrooms at Pathways Elementary.
"Being that constant for a child and guiding them into being self-motivated lifelong learners is a driving motivation," Flannery said. "Developing relationships with my students to where they trust me to guide them is powerful."
Her favorite part about working in education is simply teaching, she said.
"There is so much behind the scenes to being a classroom teacher (or academic coach) which usually goes unnoticed, but doing the actual teaching is my favorite part," Flannery said. "Being with the students [and teachers] is rewarding."
If there was one piece of wisdom she could share with students, Flannery said it would be to keep believing in yourself.