Original URL:  http://www.azstarnet.com/star/thu/31113NW4INNOV.html

The Innovator: An exceptional Northwest educator
The Arizona Daily Star
November 13, 2003

by Colleen Frederick

Estes Elementary School teacher Colleen Frederick uses what she's learned teaching in three other states to spark new ideas in fellow educators and inspire her students to become leaders, too.

Frederick, 40, is in her fourth year teaching at the Marana Unified School District's Estes, 11279 W. Grier Road, and in her 18th year teaching.

She teaches science, math, spelling, reading, writing, health, computers and art in a team - Phyllis Teager also teaches the 60 students in the sixth-grade team.

Frederick previously taught fourth through seventh grades in Denver, Christiansburg, Va., and Great Falls, Mont.

Frederick says she moved a lot because her husband is in the Air Force and was transferred to different bases.

"I've had the opportunity to go to all these places and pick up information from other teachers," Frederick said. "I love it."

Frederick is chairwoman of Estes' standards advocacy team, a group of teachers and Principal Albert Siqueiros, which discusses ways to teach, including textbooks to use.

As part of the committee, she prompted discussion that led to all first- through sixth-grade teachers using the same writing textbooks and the same techniques.

Frederick and five other district teachers will instruct other teachers in methods to more effectively teach students who are learning English. She and the other teachers attended training on the techniques in Chicago in September.

"She has seen a variety of instructional programs and curricular ideas and directions, and that's only bound to help," Siqueiros said. "She's quickly developing a reputation as being a very effective, positive and caring teacher, who's really a leader among her peers. She's just a great teacher."

Frederick says she likes teaching students more than one subject at the same time.  For instance, students in the sixth-grade team will wrap gauze around and decorate four dried-out cornish game hens from the grocery store, after studying about ancient Egyptians and how they created mummies.

Parents say Frederick also does a great job of relating to students and boosting their self-esteem.

"She is so positive and so complimentary," parent Laura Wengert said. "She has a way of making them want to be their best. She's just a person-builder."