Mix 93-1 and Half Price Books are proud to recognize outstanding teachers from our East Texas classrooms!

This week's recipient is Laurie Rozell, a first grade teacher at Brown Elementary in Whitehouse.

Ms. Rozell was nominated by a parent of one of her former and current students who had this to say:

It is both an honor and a privilege for me to write a recommendation letter on behalf of Ms. Laurie Rozell. As a teacher, she embodies everything that a parent would want for their child - she is warm, approachable, loving, firm, understanding, dedicated, passionate, hard-working, fun, and experienced. The care and concern that she has for her students goes far beyond the classroom.

I was blessed to have my son, Ethan, in Ms. Rozell's 1st grade class from 2012-2013. To this day, he will still tell you that she is his favorite teacher and I couldn't agree with him more. In fact, he ran for student council this year because Ms. Rozell was the sponsor and he wanted to be able to be involved with her again! I've never known a more dedicated and selfless teacher. She pours her heart and soul into her students and they absolutely flourish because of it. Ethan learned so much that year and came home every day excited to tell me about the amazing things he was doing in her class. And for a stay-at-home mom that was still getting used to sending her baby to school every day, this was such a relief and a blessing! Last year, I was lucky enough to have Ms. Rozell teach my daughter. She too says that Ms. Rozell is her favorite teachers. I'd love to share with you a few of the reasons why I believe she should be selected.

For starters, let's talk about Ms. Rozell in general. Her love for children is displayed in every aspect of her life. Not only does she dedicate her time in the classroom, but she also teaches VBS and babysits during the summers. She truly enjoys being around children and loves being a part of their growth and learning. Any time I've seen her outside of the classroom setting, she's always greeted me and my children with such excitement and love. Most importantly, that excitement and love is genuine. You can tell that she speaks and acts from the heart. I will tell you from personal experience...do not ever try to speak to her out in public or even in the hallways of the school unless you are prepared to be bombarded by future, current, and past students that are "patiently" waiting to tell her hi, hug her, wave at her, etc. You will not find a child that doesn't love Ms. Rozell! Kindergarteners want to be in her class, Firsties don't want to leave her class, and all of the older grades want to be in her class again! Nothing is more telling of the type of teacher she is than the reaction she gets from the students - past, present, and future.
Now, let's talk about her classroom. Since I was a stay-at-home mom, I was fortunate to be able to volunteer as room mom for Ms. Rozell's class (both times). This allowed me numerous opportunities to be involved in the classroom and experience first hand just how incredible this teacher was...and still is. The first thing you noticed when you walked in was the adorable theme of her room. She went all out to make sure that her students walked into a whimsical yet educational room every day. She didn't just throw some posters and border on the walls....she built, painted, drew, and created one of a kind designs that immediately put a smile on the kids' faces. When my son was in her class, the theme was sock monkeys. She now has a Dr. Suess theme. Who doesn't love Dr. Suess!? Her class not only looked fun, but WAS fun. She ran her classroom like a town. Each child was assigned a "job" within the town and received "compensation" for their job. The kids absolutely LOVED it! She disguised the curriculum in a way that the children didn't even realize they were doing work. They viewed it as an adventure and didn't even realize just how much they were learning from the experience. They learned about government, responsibility, finances, and countless other things. The children were all so engaged and actively learning. My son ran for mayor...he had to give a speech and even got to campaign. Little did we know, this was helping prepare him for activities he would be partaking in later on at Brown Elementary (student council, NEHS, K-Kids).

Another important thing to mention is the amount of time Ms. Rozell spends outside of the classroom doing things for her students. She spends countless hours in the evenings preparing adorable crafts like "welcome to 1st grade" treats, holiday treats, keepsakes for the parents, etc. She goes above and beyond in the crafty department and her creations put Pintrest to shame. My son and I were both always so excited to see what creation she'd hand out next. She not only does this for the students in her class, but she also does it for her Student Council kids. Yes, she also dedicates her time to these children as well. She does after school activities and weekend projects with them. As I stated before, her love and dedication to children goes far beyond the classroom.

Lastly, I have to talk about how not only is Ms. Rozell an ideal teacher to her students, but she's an ideal teacher for the parents as well. Parents were always welcome in her classroom any time. Whether it was a project I wanted to do with the kids or a parent wanting to come in and read to the class, her door was always open. She's also not just one of those teachers that you only hear from if your child has a concern. She took every opportunity to brag on them and let you know the things they were doing in the classroom. Probably my most favorite thing was when she took the time to take pictures of my child on field trips or other various activities and shared those pictures with me. Nothing made me happier than to see my child enjoying activities at school and without these pictures, I would've missed out. To me, these pictures were priceless.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and for your consideration of Ms. Laurie Rozell for Mix 93.1 Teacher of the Week. Honestly, I could write pages and pages about how special she is to me and my family. As far as I'm concerned, there's no better contender. I feel blessed beyond measure to have had her as my kids' teacher and I have no doubt that many other parents feel the same way. I appreciate the opportunity to be able to brag on her because it is definitely much deserved!

Mix 93-1 and Half Price Books are proud to recognize Ms. Rozell as our Teacher Of The Week and for being nominated by this parent.