Crestwood Elementary School English Language Learners teacher Beth Bridwell was named Lindbergh Schools’ 2019 Teacher of the Year last week. Colleagues and family members honored Bridwell during a surprise announcement at school April 12. Several years ago, Bridwell organized a Cultural Day that gives her students an opportunity to share food, games and information about their countries with their fellow students. This event has become the model districtwide for similar cultural celebrations at several Lindbergh schools.
Outside of the classroom, Bridwell takes ELL students to after-school activities, plans summer picnics in the park, finds furniture for refugee families, arranges translators for parent conferences, helps families with medical and school forms, and makes home visits for her students.
“Beth is a role model for our Crestwood community, and she will be a great representative for Lindbergh teachers districtwide,” said Principal Jodi Oliver. “She inspires students, families and her fellow teachers through her leadership with diversity and inclusion. Beth is an incredible person who always puts our kids first, and she is very deserving of this honor.”
Bridwell’s colleagues wrote in her nomination that she is a patient teacher who models creating meaningful relationships with her students and their families. She is a strong advocate for diversity and those with different abilities, and she takes responsibility in bringing the Crestwood community together.
Bridwell earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Southeast Missouri State University, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Southwest Baptist University. She is an ELL certified teacher and earned her Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification from University of Missouri – Saint Louis. As Lindbergh’s Teacher of the Year, she will now be in the running for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Regional Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced later this spring.