Oak Heights Elementary teacher earns state VFW honor

District 1 Commander Jim Traner congratulates Susan Newman for Washington State honors.
District 1 Commander Jim Traner congratulates Susan Newman for Washington State honors.

By Fred M. Apgar
VFW Post 8870

Oak Heights Elementary teacher Susan Newman has been named the Elementary Teacher of the Year by the State of Washington Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Newman, who teaches fifth grade at the Lynnwood school, had been nominated by her principal, Susan Ardissono, and sponsored by Edmonds-based VFW Post 8870. She was previously named District 1 Teacher of the Year, which qualified her for Washington State consideration.  Newman was selected for this honor from nominees submitted by local VFW Posts throughout the state.

The award recognizes Newman for her ongoing efforts to promote American history, traditions and its institutions; teach and reinforce citizenship education topics; and promote democratic values and beliefs. The daughter of a retired Army officer, her passion for American history is evident in her classroom and the learning activities in which her students are engaged.

For the past 20 years, Newman has been the driving force behind the annual Veterans Day assemblies at Oak Heights. These programs honor veterans as well as active duty personnel in the Oak Heights school community and feature student participation in a variety of skits, plays, essays, poetry and patriotic music. She also spearheads letter-writing campaigns to local VA hospitals and active duty personnel.

Newman has taught for over 40 years and is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees. She was recognized Jan. 19 at the State of Washington VFW Mid-Winter Conference in Yakima, and her name will be forwarded to compete for National VFW honors.

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