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Rachel Augspurger, Dalton Elementary

Reason for selection: Miss Augspurger is warm, accessible, and enthusiastic. She builds relationships with all of her students and makes them all feel like part of her family. She finds unique ways to engage her students in her classroom, at Camp Invention and in everyday activities. She is willing to take time out of her way too busy schedule to help those around her.

What do you love about working at Dalton Local Schools?
The Dalton/Kidron area has such a great supportive community. I love the way our community members support not only sports, but education and the arts. We are so fortunate to have not only parents attend events, but also so many people outside of that show up and give support. I’ve lived in the Kidron/Dalton area since I was 10 and always knew I wanted to stay here. To be able to spend my whole teaching career at Dalton Local Schools has been really special. This is my 30th year teaching, and I am now teaching students of former students. That may bother some people, but I think it is great fun! It doesn’t make me feel old, it makes me feel more connected with the families.

How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from Dalton HS in 1986 and then Bluffton College (now University) in 1990. I received my Master’s degree from the University of Akron in 1996. I’ve taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, but I’ve spent most of my career teaching 4th grade. I really like this age because the students are starting to become more independent. It’s so rewarding to see them become self-confident in their daily lives – whether it’s completing their work on time, grasping the importance of staying organized, or just simply helping others who may need a little extra attention.

Tell us one interesting little fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.
I love to travel – in the USA and around the world. Something that many people might not know is that I’ve been to 5 of the 7 continents (Europe, Asia – China, Africa – Kenya, Australia and of course, North America.) I am hoping to retire in five years and will reward myself with a trip to South America and Antarctica! Then I’ll find something else to do. My personal motto is: Life is a Journey, Not a Guided Tour. For me that means to keep in mind that YOU are your best guide. Ask for help, seek other’s advice, but in the end, you have to be comfortable with the path you are traveling. And the best part of that is that you can always change paths. Don’t rely on a GPS. They take you from point A to point B – often the easiest and quickest way. They are programmed by someone else – someone who doesn’t know YOU. Learn to read a road map and you will see there are so many paths to the same destination. Don’t always take the easiest and quickest way – you will lose out on so many adventures along the way.

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