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Academies in Action: What Makes an Educator GREAT?

May 3, 2021 | Jeffrey Good

Academies in Action: What Makes an Educator GREAT? image

Each month, we take a moment to learn from the Academy Directors who are bringing the Acceleration Academies mission to life, day in and day out, by asking them to answer a simple prompt. This month, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by asking the leaders of our academies across the nation to complete this sentence: A Great Educator … Here’s what they had to say:


Alison Hansen Headshot

A great educator is one who believes in their students, encourages them and supports them to be the best version of themselves. Great educators do more that just teach; they are a support system, an extended family who inspire a lifetime of learning and make a positive impact in the lives of their students.

— Alison Hansen, Director, Bethel (WA)


Wendy Thompson headshot

Great educators are masterful in their practice, clear in their high expectations and fully vested in EVERY student’s success.

— Wendy Thompson, Director, Clark County (NV)


LAA Jacinta Bryant portrait at playground.jpg

A great educator makes it a daily practice to reach their full potential while pushing students towards their endless potential. The author of MAYBE, Kobi Yamada, illustrates how a teacher pulls out the potential in each individual student.

— Dr. Jacinta Bryant, Director, Lowcountry Acceleration Academy


Laura Husnander Headshot

A great educator is a true believer in the abilities of every young person, dedicated to their success without wavering, and devoted to finding what works to keep kids engaged. The best teachers also have good instincts for what barriers need to be removed to free up a young person’s abilities.

— Laura Husnander, Director, Martin County (FL).


Gina Montagnino-Fiske Headshot

A great educator never stops being a student, has a passion for learning and the ability to love every child they meet. They can look beyond the numbers, system constraints and bureaucracy to focus on making connections that truly make a lasting difference in the lives of young people.

— Gina Montagnino-Fiske, Director, Miami-Dade (FL)


Monetta Rustin Headshot

A great educator has a passion for teaching and is dedicated to her students. She knows the importance of building relationships and creating a safe and positive learning environment.

— Monetta Ruskin, Director, Sarasota (FL).


Paige Latham Headshot

A great educator is one who helps their students to reach their full potential and doesn’t let their own pride get in the way. As great educators, it is our responsibility to teach how our students learn, not to expect our students to learn how we teach.

— Paige Latham, Director, St. Lucie (FL)


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