Everyone needs a pat on the back when they do something especially well, or, in fifth grade math teacher Kristin Mosura’s case, a gold star.
Her love for teaching is infectious and in her short time at Stockwell Place, Mosura is adored. That was evident when parents attending the school’s honors assembly gave her a standing ovation when it was announced Mosura has been singled out as Bossier Schools’ Gold Star employee for January.
“It was wonderful and very sweet,” Mosura said later, after having had the chance for the honor to sink in. “I just love kids. I relate better to kids than grown-ups,” she laughed.
Both parents and administrators at Stockwell sing Mosura’s praises. She taught in another district for a few years before taking a 13-year break to raise her children and run a photography business. Then, at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, her love for children and the classroom beckoned her back, and Stockwell Place was lucky enough to get her.
Assistant Principal Brooke Nolte pointed out Mosura provides free tutoring for struggling students every morning. She has landed more than $11,000 in grants and lends her expertise to colleagues needing help writing them. And then, there is what happens in her classroom.
“The students are so engaged they don’t even realize how much they are learning,” Nolte said. “She differentiates her assignments so that all the needs of her students are met. Mrs. Mosura cares about the whole student. She frequently has a ‘student of the day’ where she pulls a student’s name out of a bucket. The rest of the class then calls out positive comments about the chosen student. Mrs. Mosura even calls the student’s parent to let them know what positive comments were spoken about their child.”
Mosura credits being the mother of three for the approach she takes to teaching.
“All of them are different kind of learners. I get it,” she said.
It’s that personal touch that one parent who nominated Mosura for the Gold Star award appreciates.
“Kristin Mosura is the kindest, most selfless person I know,” the letter read. “I hated to see her give up her photography business, but loved that she was going to be taking care of our children! She has a creativity that most people can only dream about. She can take a normal day for a child and turn it into an extraordinary experience. I can’t begin to describe everything she does for my child, so I won’t even try, but I thank God everyday for the miracle that is Kristin Mosura.”
It is for these reasons and many more Stockwell Principal Rhonda Schnell named Mosura their 2015-16 Teacher of the Year. Schnell calls Mosura “an insatiable learner” and said “she enthusiastically embraced the challenges of preparing our entire fifth grade for taking the PARCC for the first time.”
Mosura also brings innovation into the classroom, utilizing the 32 Chromebooks she has been able to purchase from grants, as well as yoga balls and extra tall tables so students can stand while they work.
“Everything is fast and fun,” Mosura explained when asked about a typical day in her classroom. “We are always moving, standing and being active. The more exercise they get, the better they learn. I let them be kids. They’re 11 and 12.”
Not one to enjoy the limelight or recognition for her accomplishments, Mosura was quick to change the course of the conversation when asked what it means to be one of a handful of Gold Star winners.
“It’s nice to know somebody noticed that we are doing some amazing things. Not me, it’s the kids.”
Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that deserves a Gold Star? Nominate them! Just go to www.bossierschools.org and click the gold star icon on the homepage. The deadline for submissions is February 9. Gold Star sponsor Bossier Federal Credit Union will then review the nominations and select February’s winner.