Goddard Schwenksville Teacher Among 2019 Best

Award-winning teacher Kim Peterson (at top) reads to students Rowan and Cooper

SCHWENKSVILLE PA – Kim Peterson – lead pre-school class teacher at The Goddard School, 498 Township Line Rd. – has been named as one of only four national winners of the 12th annual “Teacher of the Year” awards presented by Goddard Systems Inc., the school franchiser.

Her honors, and those presented to other teachers in Wyomissing PA, Anderson Township OH, and Auburn MA were distributed earlier this month (May 2019) from the company’s headquarters in King of Prussia PA. The awards program coincided with its observance of National Teacher Appreciation Week. The 460-location Goddard chain specializes in play-based learning for more than 65,000 children from 6 weeks to 6 years old.

Known to her students as “Miss Kim,” Peterson joined the Schwenksville facility in 2006. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, with a minor in special education, from Drexel University. Peterson earlier earned her associate’s degree at Montgomery County Community College. She also holds a private academic license.

Peterson said she considers childhood education a community affair.

Next Wednesday (May 29, 2019), for instance, Dr. Shannon Hawkins of Harleysville Veterinary Hospital is scheduled to visit the Schwenksville students and talk with them about what it’s like to be a veterinarian, and to care for animal health. To ensure they’re comfy for the discussion, the kids will wear their favorite pajamas to school.

Peterson cites the “Partners and Pajamas” program, as it’s called, as an activity that’s driven by research. Studies show, she noted, that educational roles involving community members have a “positive impact” on both childhood education and student success rates.

“When families and the community play an active role in education, it demonstrates to children that their education is worth the time and effort,” Peterson added. Individuals like the veterinarian “are choosing to take (time) out of their busy schedules. It shows students there are others invested in their education and their future,” she said.

And just as children receive from the community, Peterson said, they also must give back to it. In its media release about her award, Goddard Systems singled the teacher out for “incorporating service projects into her lesson plans.” One example it offered: her pre-schoolers “created Valentine’s Day cards for local seniors.”

The Schwenksville facility, founded in August 2002, is owned by Gretchen Seward. It serves an area that includes Schwenksville, Collegeville, Royersford, and surrounding municipalities.

Photo from The Goddard School in Schwenksville