Tahoe Lake Elementary educator seventh Teacher of the Year finalist | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Lake Elementary educator seventh Teacher of the Year finalist

Katie Fagundes
Special to the Bonanza

Courtesy Michael Gelbman

Truckee Hometown SEARS-Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year committee selected Suzanne Beye teacher at Tahoe Lake Elementary, as the seventh Teacher of the Year finalist.

Beye received numerous nominations praising her patience, positive approach and creativity as a transitional kindergarten/kindergarten teacher.

"Suzanne comes to school with a warm smile every day, and her positive outlook and instructional leadership make Tahoe Lake a better school for all students," wrote nominator Principal Stephanie Foucek.

"Suzanne is an energetic, creative, caring and thoughtful teacher," added one colleague.

Beye was shocked by her own nomination.

"You do your job, do the best you can, you don't expect to be recognized," said Beye.

Recommended Stories For You

On May 22, Samantha Austin of Plumas Bank; Michael Gelbman, publisher of the Sierra Sun; and Charlie Riley, owner of Truckee Hometown SEARS, presented Beye with a Teacher of the Year finalist certificate.

In addition, Beye received a gift certificate to Bethany's Skin Care for a one-hour facial, courtesy of Plumas Bank, and a $50 gift certificate from Truckee Hometown SEARS.

Suzanne Beye, originally from the Bay Area, attended high school in Oakland, Calif. She completed both her undergraduate degree and multiple subject teaching credential work at California State University Chico.

Beye first taught at a private school, Merryhill, in Sacramento. After marrying, she moved to Lake Tahoe and began working for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. She first worked part time, sharing a position at Truckee Elementary and later at Kings Beach Elementary, while also caring for her son Jake.

Beye has taught fourth grade, second grade, first grade and kindergarten in the district. She currently teaches transitional kindergarten/kindergarten at Tahoe Lake Elementary, where she has taught the last four years.

Transitional kindergarten is a class for students who turn 5 in the later months of the calendar year, September-December, and are therefore not eligible to enter kindergarten at the start of the school year.

"This is the first year that Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has offered transitional kindergarten, and Suzanne has done a wonderful job of meeting the needs of both the 'TKs' and the 'Ks' in her combination class," wrote Foucek. "Because Suzanne is so committed to the wellbeing and achievement of all students at Tahoe Lake, she is always willing to do the work required to help move our school forward in every way, whether that involves serving on a committee, volunteering at a Family Night, or volunteering to take on a new class, such as transitional kindergarten."

Beye creates learning centers to engage students in math, writing, art, and literacy education. She describes her students as "eager to learn" and uses songs, stories, poems and hands-on activities to excite them about learning. Beye finds that her young students "want to know what they are doing" and strives for structure and consistency in the classroom.

"I am continually impressed with her calm and loving way of interacting with her students while keeping them on task, focused on learning and respectful of their classmates," wrote one parent nominator. "Her organization of her class and consistent daily structure matched with her caring demeanor truly create a great learning experience for these young learners."

Beye realizes the importance of her job and the impact she has on her young students. "I love my job, love what I do, love living in Tahoe, and love working at Tahoe Lake so I feel very fortunate," said Beye.

The Teacher of the Year committee will no longer accept nominations for 2012-13. The last of this year's finalists will be featured in the coming weeks.