The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program provides public recognition and financial rewards to elementary and secondary schoolteachers, principals and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education. By honoring outstanding educators, the program strives to attract, develop, motivate and retain talented people to the challenge and adventure of teaching.
Described as a natural educator, Katie Sedore is a young teacher who carries herself with the bearing of a seasoned veteran, a characteristic that accounts for her success with all students, including those who face the greatest challenges. Ninth-grade language arts students at Spaulding High School in Barre, Vermont, often enter her class several grade levels behind only to find that they are held to the same academic and behavioral standards as other students. With Sedore on their side setting clear, consistent standards— and treating them with unaccustomed respect—they find themselves in an environment in which they can—and do—learn. Rarely is a student sent from her class for behavioral problems.
In the classroom, Sedore implements a multi-tiered approach of differentiated instruction and academic involvement. Her classes are designed for student engagement, such as her persuasive speech class on the subject of violence and the media which culminated in a live debate with guest judges. Sedore is a major player on the school’s literacy team, developing its curriculum. In addition, she spearheaded a new reading intervention course to help students catch up or progress at grade level. Taking literacy efforts to a new arena, she sought out physical education teachers to promote the teaching of sports literature.
Sedore runs the after-school Homework Club, as well as teaches at the Granite Academy—an alternative program started by Spaulding High’s special education department. Colleagues observe that gains made by students who are often most resistant to learning amount to nothing short of a transformation in the classroom. Vermont NECAP scores for her students showed marked growth.
Coming from a family of educators, Sedore understands the importance of pursuing excellence beyond the classroom and has contributed significantly to the school’s professional standing. She heads up the Spaulding Educational Support Team (EST) and co-chaired the school’s recent New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) recertification process. She is an active member of the current Spaulding Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) team. In pursuit of her passion for literacy, Sedore is following up her master’s degree with further graduate work to become a much-needed reading specialist.