Claremont Site Teacher of the Year - Ashley Troyer
Let’s meet Mrs. Ashley Troyer, the site teacher of the year for Claremont Elementary; she is the library media specialist.
It’s been said education saves lives and Mrs. Troyer agrees, “Not in the literal sense, as education has no hands, no feet to save someone who is in need of saving. Education saved me by giving me a purpose when I was purposeless. By showing me a way to do more than survive, but to thrive - to grow and change and become better.” Both as a student and educator, at times when her world felt small, shattered and stifled…education saved her.
Great teachers - inspirational teachers - started her on the path toward education, “Mrs. Orender, a kind and caring librarian, who placed a book in my hands when my whole world was falling apart, showed me how reading can and will change your life.” This experience has shaped her teaching philosophy. “My hope, and my goal, is that every student who walks in my classroom doors will know they are loved, cared for, and accepted for who they are. Combining these things - being a lifelong learner, being empathetic, and relationship driven - with my love of reading and literature, and my knowledge of how literature impacted my life, is the best way I know how to reach our students,” she added.
Gone are the days when classroom management techniques and teaching strategies could serve an educator for a generation or more. The needs of a classroom and the needs of students are in an era of constant change. Educators are in a state of perpetual adaptation. The need to be lifelong learners is imperative to success. Mastering their area of expertise is not enough. Troyer sees a need for continued professional development in social-emotional training to help students be actively engaged in the learning process. “They don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” is one phrase that is a constant reminder that education is about more than curriculum.
Students who are hungry, who are tired, who are sad or who feel unloved simply do not have the ability to learn at the same pace as students who have these needs met in their homes. Educators must be empathetic, relationship driven, and considerate of students' needs - willing to seek out the root behind the behavior, and meet students where they are. “I know some will leave me having found that love of reading and others will not, but I want them to always remember how being in my classroom made them feel -loved, accepted, and cared for.”
Troyer a product of foster care, considers herself privileged to now be involved in the foster and adoptive communities of Rogers and Wagoner County, as an adult. She and her husband (and her kids - because fostering is a family commitment) have been foster parents for four years.
Even with multiple outlets to serve in my communities through foster care, church, and the arts, she relishes in serving her school family, “My favorite way to serve is to serve our Claremont family. I serve as our “resident graphic designer,” “copywriter,” and “staff event coordinator,” as well as lead our staff book club, serve on our leadership team, our tech team, and volunteer with our PTO. We’d have to say she is the Chief Storyteller at Claremont in more ways than one.
Video editing ZTV students: Ariana Ashlock, Mim Hopper, Hope Mallory and Scott Joseph