COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — A Colchester English learner teacher described as “a passionate advocate for equity in education” is the 2021 Vermont Teacher of the Year, the Vermont Education Agency announced Thursday.

Susan Rosato has taught English learners, who are often New Americans, in the Colchester School District for more than 15 years and was instrumental in expanding the program, the agency said. She is currently an EL teacher at Colchester High School and works with teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and administrators to teach English to the students and support them and their families, officials said.

“Sue’s ability to build meaningful and lasting relationships with students affords her a deep understanding of what it takes to support students as they learn the English language and acclimate to the culture of school in America,” said Superintendent Amy Minor in a written statement.

Vermont Education Secretary Dan French called Rosato “a passionate advocate for equity in education” and said “her work over the course of her career is a strong reminder of both the power of an individual educator to change lives and the importance of systemic changes to improve education for all students.”

She will start her tenure as teacher of the year on Jan. 1, 2021.

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