Thursday, March 1, 2018

Meet Super Teacher Ed Student Eric Courtemanche

Photo of Eric smiling at camera.  Text: Straight A student

Here’s to educational warrior Eric Courtemanche, a Rio Salado Teacher in Residence intern who is working toward his certification in special education.

Many thanks to Eric’s wife Laurie for sharing the photo above and this Facebook post-- and for inspiring us:
You see this man right here ? He’s been through a lot in the last 9 mo. Started a new FT job, went back to school to get his SpEd certification and is still suffering from a nasty bout of valley fever. HOWEVER- through all of that, he got STRAIGHT A’s in his classes. Yes, you read that right - STRAIGHT A’s!! Rio Salado College was very accommodating with deadlines, which we so appreciate. So proud of you, sweetheart!
According to Laurie, Eric took his first full-time teaching job at the Ironwood American Leadership Academy as a special education high school math teacher starting last July. He became very ill during the October fall break and spent a week in the hospital, diagnosed with Valley Fever. He was out of work until mid-December. “Rio Salado was very accommodating about his homework deadlines his observation deadlines when he had to take his finals...” said Laurie.

“The best part of all this is that this was his first semester at Rio. He was literally 6 or 8 weeks into the program when he got sick, was hospitalized for a week and then out of work in disability for another 8 weeks. Rio deferred assignments, observations, finals, etc. To say that we are grateful that he was treated as a human being as opposed to be treated like a student ID number would be the largest of understatements,” said Laurie.

A member of Rio Salado’s Teacher Education team, Special Education Instructional Specialist Elizabeth Hoffman said, “Eric is a great guy! It was a pleasure working with him and through it all, he never took advantage of his situation.”

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Educator Preparation Programs Jennifer Gresko said the instructional team works tirelessly on meeting the needs of each individual student. “The team meets weekly to discuss student needs and progress and decisions are made to accommodate special circumstances, while adhering to high standards of rigor and accountability. Finding this perfect balance can be tough! Seeing students like Eric succeed is the highest praise we can receive for our work. His success is our success!”

Eric, we appreciate your efforts, determination, successes, choice of study—and admire your family’s support!

Find the super teacher in you!