Monday, May 10, 2021

Tommie Barfield Reading Coach Selected as the Collier County School District Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond

Photos by Jory Westberry | A dinosaur fossil dig? On the playground? Of course!

Do you know anyone that’s a whirlwind of creativity, thrives on challenges, pitches in wherever and whenever needed and then add special extras on top of that? Someone who helps others with expertise and kindness, supports teachers with their reading lessons and works with students to improve their reading? Who has experience as a Volunteer Teacher, Substitute Teacher and in several different elementary grades and is an accomplished Reading Coach?

There is no doubt in my mind that Molly Skudnig was selected for this award for all of the above and even more. She is an outstanding professional, always with a smile and patience that stretches without snapping. She’s always upbeat and forward-thinking with a sincere desire to make the students, teachers, staff and school shine in every way possible.

Whenever there is a special event at Tommie Barfield, you can bet that Molly is in the thick of any preparations because her creativity always kicks into high gear. She’s immensely talented and conjures up “out of the box” ideas that are at first “mind-blowing,” and yet brings them to fruition, much to the delight of parents and students. 

Mrs. Skudnig was a classroom teacher for several years before being hired by the TBE Principal at that time to join the staff at Tommie Barfield. “It was no surprise that Molly hit the ground running and continues to be a dedicated professional ever since. After demonstrating excellence in the classroom, Molly was hired as the Reading Coach at TBE and has continually challenged herself to increase her expertise and extend that expertise to helping teachers and students achieve,” she said.

Just one of the many things she personally accomplished was getting a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration while working full-time with two young daughters. She previously earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and Teaching K-12. Mrs. Skudnig is always educating herself on new challenges and to be prepared for the challenges of the future. Her husband, Mike Skudnig, is a well-known licensed Realtor on Marco Island at the Bartos Group at Premiere Plus Realty.

One of the many areas that Molly Skudnig excels is in analyzing the progress of students and providing appropriate strategies to help them succeed. She works diligently with teachers to expand their abilities as needed for the special needs of their students. If there is a perplexing situation, she will research and find answers, all with the focus on the students and the best way to accomplish progress with whatever challenges the students might have.

Whether helping to plan the STEAM Night, Literacy experiences, Blue Zone Status, promoting Read Across America or the Sunshine State Readers or The Leader in Me, she is right in the center of the activity bursting with enthusiasm and ideas.

Tommie Barfield Elementary School is very fortunate to have Molly Skudnig on the staff with her expertise and professionalism and Collier County Public Schools is blessed to have her as an employee and, in no matter what role she assumes, she will be at the top of her profession. Congratulations to the well-deserved Collier County Elementary Teacher of the Year 2020.

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