Announcing the October 2017 Educator Spotlight honorees! Congratulations to our educators.

The Educator Spotlight is a monthly feature on our Catapult Corner Blog. The educators that are highlighted are nominated by their colleagues in recognition of the positive impact they have on children and schools throughout the country. They are our very own shining stars!

  • Steve Nosanchuk – Teacher – Antioch, CA
  • Susan Roy – Teacher – Houston, TX
  • Tonya Simpson – Teacher – Philadelphia, PA
  • Jennifer Stansberry – Teacher – Westwego, LA
  • Aisha Thabet – Teacher – Dallas,  TX

Steve Nosanchuk – Teacher

“Recently advanced to a teaching position, Mr. Nosanchuk has always been a highly versatile and valued member of the team at Sierra School of Antioch. He is often taking on additional responsibilities associated with administrative and directorial positions and does so with a genuine smile and positive attitude. As a teacher, Mr. N is well liked by his students while simultaneously challenging them to learn and grow. Mr. N has graciously offered his services as a photographer to the students at our schools. With so many general education experiences that our students miss out on, it’s nice to have someone volunteering to provide them with one.” – Millad Nooraei, Associate Director, Sierra School of Antioch and Bruno Diaz, Director, Sierra School of Antioch

  • Antioch, California
  • Studied Social Welfare/Juvenile Corrections at San Jose University

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher to give back. I’m 61 years old. In that time, I have raised two grown kids who both have graduated college and begun their careers. Along with my life experiences, this gives me a perspective on life most of the kids in my school haven’t seen. I just want them to know they have choices.

What do you love most about teaching for Catapult Learning?
What I love most about this teaching position is that we tailor the program to suit the student’s needs, not the other way around. They are individuals. They need to be treated, and educated, as such. When they have the feeling they are individuals, not just one in a crowd, I feel it adds to the success of their experience in school.

What is your greatest teaching success story?
Since I haven’t been teaching that long, my greatest “success story” was when one of my students thanked me in his journal for his recent accomplishments outside of school. It’s the little victories!

What have you learned from your students?
The biggest lesson I have learned from my students is that they are individuals, with different needs, strengths, and weaknesses. They need to be treated that way. They need as much personalized attention as we can give. They need a sense of worth and value.

Susan Roy – Teacher

“Susan has shown a high level of commitment and passion in her educational practice. She is a well-rounded educator who takes great pride in her role at Incarnate Word Academy. She is very involved with school events, with Reading and Math intervention, and she works closely with the principal to ensure that students are receiving the services needed. Last school year, Susan implemented  the Catapult Program at Incarnate Word Academy. She has pioneered their implementation utilizing their academic seminar class period to provide intervention to incoming freshman.” – Terez Tyson, Catapult Learning Program Supervisor, Incarnate Word Academy, Houston Independent School District

  • Houston, Texas
  • Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Business Administration

Why did you become a teacher?
I started working with my own children on their schoolwork and loved the feeling of being able to help them grasp concepts and improve their understanding of a subject. As the daughter of an educator, I’ve always loved learning. It’s a wonderful feeling to share that with my students.

What do you love most about teaching for Catapult Learning?
It is an honor to teach with Catapult Learning. To have the opportunity to work with small groups of students, to see the challenges they face, and to be able to make a difference in their lives is an incredibly rewarding experience. I love getting to know my students and figuring out how I can help each of them.

What is your greatest teaching success story?
I worked with a junior in high school. She was very resistant to intervention at first. As we built a relationship, she became more and more engaged in our lessons and more conscientious about her school work, in general. At the end of the semester, after earning all A’s and B’s for the first time ever, she wrote a note to me thanking me for believing in her and helping her to become a better student.

What have you learned from your students?
I have learned that nothing works for everyone and how important it is to create an environment of concern for every student. Each student has different gifts, talents, struggles, and circumstances, which affect his ability to learn each day. I have seen that when a student feels welcome and cared for, it allows him to be receptive and engaged with instruction.

Tonya Simpson – Teacher

“Ms. Simpson has been helping bring our new teachers on board since she got to Anthony Wayne Academy four years ago. She makes sure all of her students are staying up to date on what they would be doing at their home school and she does a good job in coaching up our teachers to be doing the same thing. Ms. Simpson is the twelfth grade senior adviser. She has taken it upon herself to make sure all the seniors at our school stay on track with their senior project. She stays in touch with all the students’ home school contacts to make sure our seniors are up to date on any senior activity going on.  She’s been a vital part of the keeping the culture at Anthony Wayne Academy a pro-social environment.” — Glenn Walrath, Program Director, and Jeremy Miller, Associate Director, Anthony Wayne Academy

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Studied Journalism at Temple University, Education at Arcadia University

Why did you become a teacher?
After the reduction of my hours at NBC10, a friend explained how I could be an apprentice teacher if I had a B.A/B.S and enrolled in an education program. That peaked my interest and I enrolled in a Masters of Education class. I began my teaching career in West Chester, PA, at Stetson Middle School, in 2002.

What do you love most about teaching for Catapult Learning?
We have a small staff of fifteen here at Wayne and we are a true work family. We support, understand, and listen to one and other so we are all on the same page, the work bond we have is amazing!

What is your greatest teaching success story?
My greatest teaching success story is when every year I graduate my seniors who have all been accepted to a minimum of two post secondary choices. These are my students who have been told often that they could not and will not excel in school and or life.

What have you learned from your students?
Even if you are dealt a bad hand, it is what you do with it that counts.

Jennifer Stansberry – Teacher 

“Jennifer has an entire school fired up about learning and specifically, the Catapult Learning program. With a passion for education, Jennifer’s enthusiasm quickly spread among her students after their first classroom meeting. Her initial group of students told other students and the excitement of Mrs. Stansberry’s Catapult Learning classroom spread like wild fire throughout the school. School administration has requested, “Please send me more Jennifers.” Her students leave her classroom energized, excited, and motivated about learning, which is, in turn, transforming an entire school. ” – Jada Guillory, Instructional Specialist, Catapult Learning, Our Lady of Prompt Succor School, Archdiocese of New Orleans

  • Westwego, Lousiana
  • Studied Elementary Education

Why did you become a teacher?
I wanted to be a teacher from a young age. My mother was a teacher and I went to school with her to assist in her classroom whenever I could. Along the way, I also had several teachers who also inspired me to learn by making school fun and interesting. I teach today because I care and want to make a difference with students, just like my mother and my teachers did for me.

What do you love most about teaching for Catapult Learning?
What I love most about teaching for Catapult is the opportunity to work with students across the grade levels in small groups. The individual growth that I get to see makes the job very rewarding. Catapult also allows me to not only enjoy working with the students but the administrators and other teachers as well. Being able to work with a supportive faculty each day gives me inspiration and encouragement.

What is your greatest teaching success story?
It is hard to pinpoint one story. Everyday is always different. There is always a new plan and something new to learn. But one of my greatest moments in teaching is the “Aha!” moments from students. I love to see students light up in response to understanding a concept. These moments are the building blocks to greater success!

What have you learned from your students?
I have learned that everyone is different and has different needs. Each student learns in unique ways and on their own time. It is important to introduce students to many strategies and find ways to make lessons meaningful and engaging so that every child can reach their full potential.

Aisha Thabet – Teacher

“Aisha goes above and beyond for our north Texas programs.  She is prompt, efficient, helpful, and a problem-solver. She has been a big help with acclimating two new teachers, even though she is somewhat new herself. Aisha is passionate about her students.  She considers her students’ needs before making any scheduling decisions and then plans lessons that will help her students be successful. She is a good teacher and a helpful member to our team.” – Misty Delgado, Catapult Learning Program Supervisor, Texas and Oklahoma

  • Dallas, Texas
  • Studied Interdisciplinary Studies at WGU (B.A) and Instruction and Curriculum at  University of Texas (M.Ed), (in progress)

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because it matters. I wanted my students to have the capability of believing in themselves. And to believe that they can be everything and dream anything with the power of knowledge. I became a teacher because I care. I care about their interests, hobbies, and dreams. The most important aspect I can teach my students is to always be kind to one another. Being a teacher matters everyday. Bringing out the best versions of my students and the people around me is what matters to me the most. Kindness and compassion triumphs all.

What do you love most about teaching for Catapult Learning?
I absolutely love working in small groups and developing relationships with my students. I get to dissect both their strengths and weaknesses. I have the ability to guide them in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. I get to see their faces light up with excitement when they’ve mastered a skill. It is an extraordinary vision to be apart of.

What is your greatest teaching success story?
I had this student who didn’t seem to enjoy anything about school. I saw his resistance and the walls were up high. I took the time to understand his problems and to dissect his struggles. No matter what type of day he was having, I continuously encouraged him to try. Even if he didn’t want to. I asked him to try…everyday. Now he enjoys school and is excited to tell me how he is doing. He sets goals for himself and is constantly challenging himself to be better everyday. It is so incredible to see the visions I have come to life.

What have you learned from your students?
I have learned to be more patient and to always keep a smile on my face. I have learned that we are a team and we are in this together. I absolutely love learning new things and gaining a new perspective on how to be a better person for the people around me.