Mrs. Stacy Vensko - Literacy Teacher
Laurel Hill School
1st and 2nd Grade
~The Star Polisher~
~By Leah Becks~
I have a great job in the universe of occupations.
What do I do? I'm a "star polisher."
It's a very important job. If you want to know how important,
just go out at night and look at the stars twinkling and sparkling.
You see, I'm a teacher. The stars are the children in my class.
My job is to take them--in whatever shape they come--
and shine and buff them and then send them out to take their
places as bright, twinkling beacons in the sky.
They come into my room in all shapes and sizes.
Sometimes they're bent, tarnished, dirty, crinkly, or broken.
Some stars are cuddly and soft. Some are prickly and thorny.
As I buff and polish, I train and teach my little stars.
I tell them that the world cannot do without them.
I tell them they can do anything they set their
minds to. I tell them they can be the brightest,
shiniest stars in the sky and the world will be a better place
because of them.
Each night as I look at the sky, I'm reminded of my
very important job and awesome responsibility.
Then I get my soft buffing cloth and my bottle of
polish in preparation for tomorrow…for my class of little stars.
Welcome to my class website!
My name is Stacy Vensko and I will be your child's second grade
teacher. I love my job and truly enjoy what I do. This is my 12th year of
teaching and my 7th year at Laurel Hill School. LHS is a great place to work
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After high school, I
attended Penn State University for two years and then
transferred to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where I received my
Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 2000. Upon graduation, I was hired
as a first grade teacher in Broward County, Florida (Ft. Lauderdale) and have
been teaching in the classroom ever since. I have been very fortunate to
teach in many parts of the country, including New Mexico, Florida, and even
overseas in Germany!
I recently completed my Master of Arts with a specialization in
Elementary Reading (K-6) from NOVA Southeastern University in less than one
year. I am certified to teach grades K-6 in both Pennsylvania and Florida.
In the future, I hope to obtain National Board Teacher Certification in the
area of Literacy.
Since 2008, I have been the elementary cheerleading coach of the Hoboettes at
Laurel Hill School. Coaching keeps me very busy, but it brings
back lots of wonderful memories about my own days as a cheerleader!!
If you are interested in learning more about the youth cheerleading program,
please see the Hoboettes page on my website.
Currently, I live in the sunshine state with my husband, John
and our 6 year old son Noah Stephen who will be finishing kindergarten at
LHS soon! We also have one Boxer named Gordon, an English Bulldog named
Rosco, and one cat name Bleau (pronounced Blue). Someday soon, I hope to have
a little cheerleader of my own!
When I'm not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family
and friends, working on my classroom website, coaching my little
cheerleaders, shopping, and of course, relaxing with a good book at my
favorite place --THE BEACH!
What a great night to be a teacher! I debated whether or not I should put
this on my website, but it has been the highlight of my teaching career, so
On January 10, 2011, I was surprised by the Superintendent of Okaloosa County
Schools, Dr. Alexis Tibbetts, and informed that I had been chosen as one of
three finalists for 'Teacher of the Year' for Okaloosa County Schools.
The Teacher of the Year Banquet was held at the Emerald
Coast Conference Center in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida on Thursday, February
17, 2011. Although I was not the big winner of the night, I was VERY honored
to represent all of the distinguished teachers at my school and across
Okaloosa County. Thank you so much to everyone who attended the banquet with
me, especially my Laurel Hill family, friend (and Baker teacher)
Jennifer Saunders, my mother who came all the way from Pittsburgh, and my
loving husband John. Your support on this very special night meant SO much
Here we are -- The 3 District Finalists
Here I am pictured with Dr. Alexis Tibbetts, Superintendent of
Okaloosa County Schools.
Here I am with my teaching parter, Mrs. Linda Glass who is an
inspiration to all teachers, especially to me!
Here I am as the Lorax! I speak for the trees!
The mission for my class is to create a challenging and
nurturing classroom environment where students feel safe,
respected, and take risks while learning.
In my classroom, I hold high expectations for all of my
students and expect them to try their very best each day.
It is my goal to instill a love of learning (and reading) in each of my
Here are some things that I believe about teaching elementary children:
I BELIEVE THAT...
*all children CAN and WANT to learn.
When teachers and parents work together as partners, the potential for
learning is increased significantly.
*students learn best by being actively engaged,
so I incorporate active learning strategies daily.
I truly believe in the statement "Hands-On, Minds-On"
and strive to incorporate daily activities that embrace this pedagogy.
*students have their own unique learning style(s) and it is my
responsibility as their teacher to discover how my students learn best.
I teach my students that each of them are indeed smart
in their very own way (Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory)
and what really matters MOST is not how smart they are,
but how they ARE smart!
*students learn best from teaching one another, so in my classroom,
students are paired up with a partner or in a small
group to discuss their learning. These daily cooperative learning
experiences allow my students to work together and teach each other.
In my eyes, this is when true learning occurs.
*instruction needs to be differentiated in order to meet
the diverse needs of our classrooms today, so I use a
variety of whole group, small group, and individual
instructional strategies daily.
*music holds the "KEY" to learning in elementary school,
so I incorporate singing and music across the curriculum
as much as possible. We sing in all areas of the curriculum!
I feel that when concepts being taught are put to a
tune, it helps my students to remember and learn the information
better and for much longer periods of time.
*"practice makes permanent" not perfect, so my students have
opportunities daily to practice what they have been learning
during the year. Students practice their learning with partners and
individually. Work stations are hands-on and allow for active engagement.
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