What Makes an “All-Star” Teacher?

Educators play an integral role in the personal and academic development of youth. This past year in particular educators went above and beyond to ensure their students were still able to learn and thrive in the face of many obstacles.

Allison Painter, a special education teacher at the Watson Institute’s Education Center South, was recognized for her extraordinary efforts as an All-Star Teacher nominee! The Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates Charities, PNC, and The Grable Foundation partnered with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Intermediate Unit One, and Kidsburgh to recognize outstanding teachers in the Pittsburgh area.

Allison started her career at the Watson Institute working as an instructional aide in the classroom. Instructional aides work with the special education teacher in the classroom to ensure students are engaged in daily activities, working towards their individualized goals, and having successful days at school! While she was an aide, Allison obtained her teaching certificate and is now celebrating 10 years working at Watson! 

Nicholle Fink’s daughter, Kendal, has been a student in Allison’s classroom at the Education Center South for two years and she could not be more pleased with her placement.

“Allison and her team are an absolute dream! They go above and beyond the call of duty.” says Nicholle.

As she was purchasing Pittsburgh Pirates tickets online, she noticed the nomination form for the All-Star Teacher. Right away, she knew who she wanted to nominate.

“My daughter has grown emotionally and developmentally in Allison’s classroom and continues to grow each and every day.”

Allison was delighted to learn that Nicholle had nominated her for this recognition.

When asked what her favorite thing about being a teacher is, Allison says it’s “the special connections I get to build with my students and the opportunity to celebrate their success and growth each day!”

Congratulations to Allison on her nomination and for being a positive example of the incredible impact teachers have on the lives of their students each and every day!

Learn more about the Education Center South, a special education school for children up to age 21.