By Kim Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Most elementary school teachers are responsible for about 25 – 30 students.

This week’s Excellent Educator has about 25 times that amount.

As a music teacher, Mrs. Laurie Herman teaches all of the students at Red Pine Elementary in Eagan. And she is known to have a personal relationship with each one.

“I’m overwhelmed. I feel like crying,” Herman said.

Herman has been a teacher at Red Pine since the year the school opened.

“[I’ve been here] since we opened the doors in the fall of 1995. And I’ve been teaching in this classroom for 21 years,” she said. “I absolutely love music and it is my passion. And that is my dream, is to share that passion with these kids here.”

She does that through special music programs. Herman writes the music, choreography and speaking parts for each grade’s recital, that’s five programs every year.

“I think that music programs are wonderful because it gives the kids a chance to work together as a team,” Herman said.

She loves it when students asked for special rolls in the performances and will go out of her way to make sure everyone has an opportunity for one.

“It’s been my policy that any student that wants to do a speaking part gets to do a speaking part, and I will write extra parts into a script just to accommodate that,” she said.

Herman thinks it’s really important in elementary school to give kids as many opportunities to new skills.

She said once they get to middle school and high school there are fewer opportunities because the competition is so much fiercer.


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