Prairie Ridge Early Learning Center honors EC4T/Head Start educator

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 7:09 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The first week of the Golden Apple awards wraps up with a trip to Prairie Ridge Early Learning Center in Eau Claire. The ECASD mission is to inspire and prepare students to live creative, fulfilling and responsible lives. This year, Prairie Ridge honors an educator who has done exactly that for nearly two decades.

“We have a very special hero with us today, Miss Traci has been awarded the Golden Apple award for Prairie Ridge Schools. She is our hero this year!!!... let’s give her a big round of applause!”

Prairie Ridge principal Andrew Thiel presented EC4T/Head Start teacher Traci Schneider with the Golden Apple award. Schneider excels teaching and working with the “little ones” at the early learning center. Schneider says having patience is just one of the key strategies she uses in her classroom.

“Patience is important but I think it’s an energy level, you just have to come in matching their energy level or having a higher energy level as they do. And when you come in with that high energy that they have every day and you can rein it in and be a part of what they need. Seeing them come in every day so excited to be here and just loving school and we’re here to have fun and they’re learning how to be part of a group and be someone in that group, it’s so much fun to see that progress,” explains Schneider.

“Doesn’t have a classroom, she has a family in her room. You can tell just why when you walk into her room, each kid means something different for her. She knows each kids personality, their interests, she knows their families, she really takes the time to get to know them so she can do the best teaching. And that’s really important for our little ones so their families feel comfortable sending them to school for that first time too,” adds Nicole Salter, Prairie Ridge Instructional Coach.

Again, congratulations to Traci! She and Prairie Ridge Early Learning Center will each receive $500 from the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation and Ms. Schneider will receive a golden apple crystal at the awards banquet in April.