2020 T.O.Y. Finalist: Bonnie Camm

Bonnie Camm 

Sixth Grade Teacher, Landmark Academy

Lovingly known as the real-life Ms. Frizzle (both for her curly red hair and for her dedication to trying nearly every student idea), Bonnie is an educator to her core. She first discovered Landmark as a parent, seeking a good fit for her children with special needs. After enrolling them, she started working at the school as a Teaching Assistant, and fell even more in love with the school and with teaching. Shortly after, she went back to school at an online university - pursuing her Bachelor’s degree while supporting her son, who needed multiple brain operations. Bonnie would work from his bedside, from hospital waiting rooms and from doctor’s offices, ultimately earning her degree and eventually returning to Landmark as a fully certified teacher. A true charter advocate from the parent and educator perspective, Bonnie embraces every child's unique quirks, and thrives under the flexibility and autonomy in her role. Her fellow educators note that she regularly requests struggling souls in her class, and builds their trust to help them grow - assisted by her emotional support rat, Finnigan! 

11-18
5-52
10-23

Why are you proud to be a charter school educator?

I love that my Administrator trusts me totally - she knows I’m doing right by my kids. As teachers, we are highly trained and qualified professionals - and that’s how we deserve to be treated. I get that at my school - 100%. The autonomy that is afforded to me in my classroom is priceless - it’s lets me see every child as an individual, and help them grow as an individual. Charter schools are a step ahead, we’re on the cutting edge. I’m so proud to be part of that.

How has your team adapted to distance learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

The day that we learned we wouldn’t return the following week, I handed out a lot more hugs than I did academic advice. Kids needed emotional support. But our educator team is made of planners - and we got to work immediately. It was important for us to evaluate our population - and the reality is that our students were simply not prepared for a full digital experience right off the bat. So we first mailed out packets, and then as time went on we did something that I like to call “bringing back the Pony Express.” Our team quite literally hand delivered work packets to each and every one of our students - we gave every student a (socially safe) greeting. I didn’t expect it to take nearly 9 hours - but those smiles were worth it.

More about Bonnie:

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Check out this collection of photos, submitted by Bonnie and get a peek into her life as a teacher! 

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Hear from Debbie Wilton - Superintendent and Middle/High School Principal at Landmark, and Rebecca Munson, fellow Landmark educator, why Bonnie is deserving of the 2020 TOY Award!

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