By Jackie Stone
Killeen Daily Herald
Sue Beaumont said the first year of teaching is always scary for new teachers.
Beaumont started her teaching career at a four-room school house on a military post in Germany.
"I was going to teach second and third grade with no mentor, and no teacher bookstore, no nothing," she said. "I was afraid."
That first year, she paid attention to the students' needs and let them direct her to become a better teacher. She has now been a teacher for 22 years, and her work with student teachers and as a mentor to new teachers in Killeen Independent School District were among the reasons an assistant principal at her school nominated Beaumont for the Killeen Daily Herald's annual Excellence in Teaching award.
"When they need to come in and observe, we always pick Ms. Beaumont's class, because we know she's a strong example and a good one for people to watch," said Montague Village Elementary School Assistant Principal Ruth Prosser.
On Thursday, Beaumont and nine other teachers from the area will be honored with the award at a banquet.
Beaumont teaches fourth grade at Montague Village.
Prosser said Beaumont stands out not only for her excellence in the classroom, but because she goes beyond those duties to working with other grade levels, tutoring after hours and helping any other way she can.
"If she's walking down the hallway and sees someone who needs a hand, she'll always lends a hand," Prosser said.
Beaumont is also one of the teachers the school trusts to do well with challenging students.
"We know that we can give her challenging students, and she'll hold them accountable and get the best out of them. She's no nonsense, and they all know that she loves them," Prosser said. "She does a great job teaching with our special education staff."
Beaumont said working with challenging students is her favorite part of the job.
"It's rewarding because with a little bit of encouragement, if I can break it down so they have little bits of success and it builds their confidence, they'll take bigger risks, and suddenly someone who has been struggling maybe because they moved a lot or they've been feeling down on themselves, they can have some success," Beaumont said.
Prosser said when she was gathering information to nominate Beaumont, she was reluctant to brag on herself.
"I just think it's sweet, when trying to pull things out of her, that she was so proud of her family - her husband, her sons and her grandkids. She doesn't brag about her teaching, and how good of a job she does with the kids, but she will brag about her boys," Prosser said.
For Beaumont, it's the students that make it worth it.
"They're what I'm here for. If it was just the paperwork, I'd have to go. But the kids make the paperwork worth it," she said.