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GET TO KNOW ... Mary Huelsman, Literacy Specialist at Stingley Elementary
GET TO KNOW ... Mary Huelsman, Literacy Specialist at Stingley Elementary

Throughout the year, we'll be introducing some of the great teachers, administrators, staff members, students and volunteers in our district. Today, let's get to know ... MARY HUELSMAN, Literacy Specialist at Stingley Elementary!

Throughout the year, we'll be introducing some of the great teachers, administrators, staff members, students and volunteers in our district. Today, let's get to know ... MARY HUELSMAN, Literacy Specialist at Stingley Elementary!

Tell us about your job.
I am a Literacy Support Specialist for Stingley Elementary, and I have been in this role for five years now. I previously taught first grade at Cline and then PVS when it opened. I also get to support some of our youngest readers over at PVN. There are various roles that I play in our building. I work with small groups of students or one on one with students to support their needs in reading and writing. I also work with teachers to develop goals for students and plan instruction in the classroom. I love to support our teachers and students on a larger level while planning school-wide literacy events and participating in professional development opportunities.

What are some of your goals this year?
My main goal every year is for the students I work with to see themselves as readers and writers. I want them to find the joy in literacy and build their confidence. This year specifically I wanted to work hard to involve our families in their reader's literary success. With the help of our Stingley Literacy Committee, we planned a school-wide big read and a family movie night to celebrate our reading achievements. It was a powerful thing to see parents, students and their siblings together finding the joy in reading and conversations.

Tell us about your family.
My husband and I live in Centerville with our three children, Emma Kate, Daniel and Vincent (and our dog Trigger). My husband actually builds schools for Shook Construction. Emma Kate and Daniel are currently at PVN and will attend Stingley one day. Vincent will be two soon and is already anxious to get to school with the big kids. My parents live close by in Kettering and I have two younger sisters in Fort Myers, Fla., and Greenville, S.C. ... both great places to get to go and visit!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Kettering, where I attended St. Charles and then Alter. I then attended the University of Dayton for undergrad and then grad school.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I entered UD as a business major and went on to finish that degree along with my education degree. Also, I can tap dance and hula-hoop with the best of them.

What is your favorite book, movie, TV show or hobby?
Favorite book is a tricky one! In my classroom, I still have my well-loved copy of Charlotte's Web that I read repeatedly as a child. Currently, I am reading the Game of Thrones series, and that answers my favorite current TV show. My husband and I both love to kayak and try to get on the river as often as possible. I love to be hiking, running, walking ... anything outside!

What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't in education?
If I weren't a teacher, I would still be doing something with kids. I grew up dancing and always thought it would be fun to have my own dance studio one day. But to be totally crazy, today I'm thinking it would be fun to be a news anchor.

What is the best part about working for Centerville Schools?
It's definitely the people. I have been so fortunate to create so many new relationships with teachers, parents and students. I love the passion that our community has for our schools. I know that my own children will be loved, cared for and become their own independent learners because of the teachers that I am lucky enough to work with who will care about them so much that they want these things for them as well.