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Spotlight on Fru Leonard, 2018 Teacher of the Year

“If I were a child, would I want to be in my class?”

That’s a question Fru Leonard, The Malvern School’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, asks herself every day.

“It may sound silly, but if your class has an inviting and fun atmosphere, children will want to come, and children will want to learn,” Ms. Fru, the lead Kindergarten Enrichment teacher and head School Age teacher at The Malvern School of Royersford explains. “It’s how I set myself and my students up for success.”

The effort she makes to go above and beyond in planning and implementing challenging, creative and exciting learning experiences shows.

While Ms. Fru – one of the longest tenured teachers across all 26 Malvern School locations – has been with the school for more than 15 years, she constantly re-evaluates her curriculum to meet the changing needs of the students in her class.

“I have learned that in order to be successful, I must continue to challenge my own teaching skills,” she says.

“Ms. Fru exemplifies what it means to be dedicated to The Malvern School and its Core Values,” says Meghan Stumpf, Executive Director at The Malvern School of Royersford.

“She takes pride in her classroom environment and works to continually exceed the standards in place,” adds Colleen Subranni, Director of Education at Royersford.  

Additionally, as NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Coordinator, she helps guide the entire teaching team to find ways to implement and recognize the highest standards in age-appropriate ways in all classrooms.

Being part of Royersford’s NAEYC re-accreditation two times and being selected to support the staff as a NAEYC mentor are what she calls her proudest Malvern School moments.

“Receiving this award has opened my eyes to how much teaching truly touches the students and their families,” comments Ms. Fru. “The congratulations and sincere comments that past and current families shared when they heard of my award helped me internalize how personal and enduring the impact of one teacher can be.”

The same can be said for students.

“I stumbled upon the field of early childhood education in high school and I still remember the smiles and hugs my first ‘students’ gave me,” she says. “Today, I still believe that making children feel welcomed, wanted, secure and comfortable are vital in the learning process.”

“Being named Teacher of the Year sets a standard that I will strive to continue to fulfill,” adds Ms. Fru.

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