We are delighted to announce that Suzy DeBlois, a twelfth grade teacher at John O’Connell High School, is our November Teacher of the Month. Ms. DeBlois has wowed us with her dedication to her students and their future since our first in-schools project with her this fall.
Ms. DeBlois visited 826 Valencia at 8 PM on a weeknight in late August, after having spent the whole evening at school, to see if she could get additional support for the seniors in her AVID class as they applied to college. (AVID stands for “advancement via individual determination,” and an AVID classes focus on college preparation and leadership.) For the next several weeks, as 826 Valencia tutors worked with her students, none of us could believe how tireless and committed Ms. DeBlois was.
And her students are the first to recognize these qualities in Ms. DeBlois. As Ely Jeronimo, who is in Ms. DeBlois’s AVID class, says, “Throughout my four years at John O’Connell, she has offered me help both as a teacher and as a friend. She is someone outside of home who I know will listen to me and provide me with advice.”
Ms. DeBlois is a role model for her students, and it shows. One volunteer, Amanda Foushee, gives an example, “Before I went to work in Ms. DeBlois’ classroom on a college essay project, I had the pleasure of meeting the majority of her AVID students. They signed up as group to attend a free SAT prep workshop at 826 Valencia. Each Saturday they would help their classmates understand tough sections of our SAT review and arrive and depart as a group. It was clear from the beginning that Suzy was the driving force behind the students’ collaborative attitude.”
Students and tutors agree that Ms. DeBlois is not only a “great person” but also a “comedic genius,” and as Ely says, “she is someone outside of home who I know will listen to me and provide me with advice.”
We feel honored to know such an influential educator, and we want Ms. DeBlois to know how much we admire her! Congratulations, Ms. DeBlois, and keep up the good work!