Each year, CEI can count on Briarwood School in Houston, Texas, to submit the names of several outstanding students for Who’s Who recognition. This year, we would like not only to recognize these outstanding students but also one of their remarkable Essential Learning Systems (ELS) facilitators, Holly Strapulos, who is retiring this year.
Briarwood School offers a broad range of programs for students with learning differences. Mrs. Strapulos started at as a fourth grade teacher Briarwood back in the 1990s. She soon moved from fourth grade to the Reading Lab. Her love for her students and for the ELS program kept her in that position for more than years!
“Holly has the same enthusiasm for her students now as she did when she first started at our school,” shared an employee at Briarwood who is also the mother of a Briarwood student.
Briarwood uses ELS in the Lower School (grades 2-6) as part of its reading program. Mrs. Strapulos says, “Students quickly discover this wonderful place where they will find success, build self-esteem and find the will to achieve great things if they choose.”
That success in the lab is due to the cooperation between the students and everyone involved in the lab.
ELS serves as the platform for the Reading Lab. Mrs. Strapulos and her associates, facilitators Mary Kay Sherman and Leiann Darnell, ensure that each student interacts with their computer and their teacher numerous times each class period. The facilitators maintain their students’ positive attitudes by rewarding appropriate behavior, by challenging — but not overwhelming —the students, and by staying positive.
Holly brings the joy of learning to her students. Anyone visiting the lab quickly sees that she is engaged with her students, and she does whatever is necessary so each student succeeds.
“Holly has an optimistic outlook, and she always finds the positive in people or situations,” shared Mary Kay Sherman. “She is quick to praise, and she will go out of her way to help anyone. She is a happy person, and she readily joins others in their happiness. It is not a cliché.... Holly is truly one of a kind, and she will be missed by all at Briarwood School.”
Holly, we at CEI will miss you, too, and we wish you the best as you begin your next adventure!