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2020 Kansas Master Teacher Holly Bright

Holly Bright

Holly Bright sm.jpg

Holly Bright

Kindergarten Teacher
Grandview Elementary School
USD 490 El Dorado

“I am eight years old. I am writing this letter to tell you about my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bright,” writes a former student. “She is sweet and kind and she is really good at explaining things. She made me feel warm and cozy on the inside.”

Which is Holly Bright’s objective. “When my students, past or present, walk into my classroom, I want it to be a place where they know they are loved, safe, and cared for,” she states.

By beginning each school year discussing and modeling how a family would treat and include everyone, Bright said her students continue to build their family all year long. Once these relationships are established, aggressive behaviors decrease and kinder words and actions increase.

This year, when a wheelchair-bound nonverbal child joined her class, Bright adapted her teaching methods and increased her collaborative skills by working with other professionals working with the student on speech and movement. Realizing the inadequacies of accommodations for the student – from class seating to the ability to participate in recess and field trips – Bright directed and implemented the necessary changes so this child can have inclusive experiences with the rest of the class. “(The other students have) become compassionate and empathetic towards here and each other. The class sees this child as part of our family and have embraced her uniqueness since day one.”

Bright began teaching in 2007 in Kansas City, KS after earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Emporia State University. She earned an ESOL endorsement in 2013. She began teaching Kindergarten at Grandview Elementary in 2016.

“I chose to move to Grandview this year, after 39 years of teaching at another building, just so I could teach alongside Holly,” a colleague states. “She has challenged me to dig deeper in developing personal relationship with students and parents, develop better teaching skills, and learn new professional practices to implement in my own classroom.

“If one child can look back in twenty years and remember the love I showed them, I consider that a job well done,” Bright said.