Meet our 2023 Educator of the Year, Cait Haug a Kindergarten Teacher at Discovery ElementaryApr 10, 2023 ● By 'hood Magazine
It takes a village to raise kids, but the same is true about creating great teachers. Mrs. Cait Haug was in complete shock when the ‘hood and Sanford fit teams, along with her family and school staff, surprised to congratulate her on being the 2023 ‘hood Educator of the Year. In the true spirit of kindness, she pointed to a mentor’s guidance that helped shape her. “I was blessed to have an amazing mentor, Jean Banek, and she had a huge role in the teacher I am today,” Mrs. Haug said.
Mrs. Haug has been a teacher for 12 years and still loves the energy and excitement of a kindergarten class. She said, “My favorite part of teaching kindergarten is the amount of growth they make in a year. Some students may not even know their letters in September and leave my room in May writing stories that are multiple pages long!” They have fun, too, and she noted that her students are still at an age where they think she is funny and can be goofy with them.
During the award presentation, the kids explored the items provided by Sanford fit, which will be a part of the class’s calm-down corner. The Discovery Elementary counselors have prioritized teaching all students about their mindfulness and Zones of Regulation. Mrs. Haug shared that her students love incorporating these new tools into their classroom. “Exceptional educators make an impact on the wellbeing of students every day through creativity, empathy, and passion,” said Amy Baete, Director at Sanford fit. “Mrs. Haug embodies these qualities in her classroom to ensure every student feels welcomed, valued, and motivated to learn. Our team at Sanford fit is honored to congratulate Mrs. Haug and provide her with new classroom cozy corner supplies and learning tools to nurture the social and emotional development of her students.”
Mrs. Haug changes lives. She colors the world for new learners (and their families) and believes every child has the potential to move the biggest mountains. Cait opens up her classroom, loves our children like her own, meets them where they are (emotionally, academically, socially, etc.), and engages every single child in a way that makes them believe they're unstoppable. When my son was in Kindergarten, he got very ill. He was absent for over a month of school after a diagnosis with an autoimmune sickness. He may not have been in the classroom but she never let my sick, sad little boy miss anything. The darkest time in his life was brightened by her shining light. Her profession is not a job, it's a calling. She takes the time to know the kids and love them. In a world full of tests and data, her classroom sparkles with individualized education. A safe place for kids from all backgrounds, walks of life, and stories to come and feel cared about. Mrs. Haug is the teacher parents pray for. And we thank God for all ways she's changed our live!
-Erica (mom) and Elias (1st grade)