Mrs. Potocko is a sixth-grade math teacher at Robious Middle, where she has worked since 2017.
Her Teacher of the Year application illustrated a strong connection with students. Potocko also has been involved in schoolwork related to Positive Behavior Intervention Services that helped develop proactive circles, where students are able to express their thoughts and feelings. Academically, Potocko designed and implemented a project-based learning exercise focused on achieving mathematics competency with decimal operations by budgeting, learning about the needs of the community by examining costs, and experiencing opportunities to help the community by donating items and volunteering. A math lesson about the taught students about the costs of a “free education” helped demonstrate to her students a need to help underserved communities. This work built understanding, empathy and kindness.
A teacher colleague, Katherine Herceg, wrote of Potocko, a 29-year veteran of teaching: “Despite her vast classroom experience, though, Suzanne continually reflects on her practice and modifies it year after year. She continually pursues the ‘perfect’ lesson, always in an effort to improve her students’ understanding. … I have learned so much about the importance of ‘relentlessly pursuing’ our students and simply not allowing any one of them to give up.”