Laura Trapp, librarian at Rossiter Elementary School,

Laura Trapp, librarian at Rossiter Elementary School, assists fourth-grade students on a class project at the elementary school. Trapp was recently named Educator of the Year by the Helena Education Association.

Rosstier Elementary School's longtime librarian Laura Trapp has been named Helena Education Association's teacher of the year. 

Trapp is in her 30th year as an educator and 13th as Rossiter's librarian. She has spent the past 28 years in the Helena school district, including time spent teaching first, third, fourth and fifth grades at Four Georgians Elementary School. The Carroll College graduate said she began her career as a third-grade teacher in Gardnerville, Nevada, before she and her husband Craig moved back to Montana.

"I was surprised, of course," exclaimed Trapp, when asked how she reacted to the news. "I was nominated along with a group of outstanding teachers who are all doing amazing things for students in our schools, and I felt honored to be included among them."

Trapp said all teachers are working hard to provide relevant and engaging educational experiences for their students, in addition to looking out for their emotional and social needs.

"No one does it for any kind of recognition, so when one of us is singled out for this kind of honor, I think we are naturally reluctant to take the spotlight," Trapp said. "However, I am so honored to have been chosen by my peers to represent and stand for the fantastic work that is being done by all of us."

Doug Baker, Rossiter's principal, said Trapp is no mere librarian and her influence spreads far beyond the library itself. 

"She is a rock-star," Baker said. "She does a great job and goes above and beyond with her abilities."

Baker cited a project Trapp is working on with the school's physical education and music teachers. The three have managed to create a multi-disciplinary lesson teaching students about Native American culture. Additionally, Baker said Trapp is involved in a number of Science Technology Engineering and Math projects at the school, including robotics. 

"I love being involved in elementary education because we are working as a team to help our students learn to navigate their own learning lives," Trapp said. "We nurture them as we teach them all the things that are in our 'scope and sequences' and 'pacing guides,' but the nurturing is the most important thing. No learning can take place if our kiddos don't feel our love and care for them."

Trapp said she and her colleagues want all of the students at Rossiter to know they are loved and accepted. She works to cultivate an atmosphere in her library that is always open and welcoming to students in their pursuit of knowledge and personal growth.

"My biggest hope for all of my students, past and future, is that they never stop wanting to learn something new," Trapp said. "Because that can bring happiness and open doors in their lives!"

Trapp considers herself a lifelong learner. She pursued her master's degree and National Board certification while teaching full time. She also is a conference presenter for the 2019 Montana Library Association and member of the American Association of School Librarians. 

"Continually learning and growing is what helps me to be the best educator that I can," she said.

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