King Street Center’s long-time Preschool Lead Teacher, Heather Benoit is “retiring” after a long career of teaching and nurturing young learners. She’s had an immensely positive influence on the hundreds of children who grew up in her classroom here at King Street and in her previous teaching positions. Heather was honored as “Early Educator of the Year” in 2006 and our 5 STAR rating is in no small part due to her good work. Heather loved Family Breakfasts and could be found at her trusty griddle flipping pancakes for children to share with their parents. Over the years, Heather’s excellent teaching skills helped many interns and young teachers establish best practices.
As Early Education Director, Stacy Weinberger noted, “When I came to visit for an observation session early on, I was struck by Heather’s quiet command of the classroom. She was sitting on the floor reading a book to a circle of children. Seamlessly during the story, one child moved onto her lap for a snuggle, another was re-engaged with a light touch of her hand on his back and a third, she was able to bring into the plot with just a special look into his eyes. It was clear to me that all of these children had a relationship with Heather and knew how to respond, without creating a ripple in the classroom. She is masterful.”
Vicky Smith, Executive Director, shares, “Heather is a magnet, a pied piper, a dreamweaver, a safe keeper who has served up bowls up love, hope and belief helping kids to grow and flourish as they came to know their best selves. What she has brought to the children and families at King Street Center is a gift beyond gifts. We are so grateful.”
A celebration in Heather’s honor was enjoyed by close family, King Street Center staff and board members, former staff, Shelburne Farms, Howard Center, CVOEO Head Start, and many others.
Congratulations, Heather! We’ll miss you (and your delicious cookies.)
Who is Heather? by Peggy Curtis, former Education Director, King Street Center
I’m going to a party this evening
There will be both laughter and tears.
Heather is leaving King Street
Where she’s worked for so many years.
“Tell me something about her.
What is she like this Heather?”
Like the mailman; sleet, snow, or hail
She delivers no matter the weather.
To what else can I compare her?
To the picture books she finds so appealing;
Art for the heart you could call them
Not many words, full of feeling.
“And what else is she like?”, you ask me.
Like a mother bear, say I
Protective and fierce if she needs be
Also soft and knowing and shy.
It’s obvious she’s a teacher
Not doing just a job but a passion
Lots at stake, lots to learn, all important
King Street received a huge ration.
“It sounds like they’re losing a good one”
Of that I am sure there’s no doubt.
But it’s time to share her in new ways
This world needs more Heathers about.