Stacy Stockseth & Cindy Dziurzynksi
Secondary Instructional Coaches for Redmond School District
The dynamic duo of Stacy Stockseth and Cindy Dziruzynski are the feature of our September Team Spotlight! These talented teachers serve as secondary instructional coaches for Redmond School District. Read more to learn about their roles and how they are making success possible for both teachers and students!
What do you do as an Instructional Coach?
I wear a lot of hats right now. I help design professional development, help teachers with Synergy (our student information system), work with groups of teachers on grading standards and rubrics, help teachers develop new classroom resources, assist in curricular adoptions and help run our summer Camp 9 and 9+ programs. Next year I plan to work more in the capacity of coaching teachers who are looking to improve their practices.
My job as a secondary math coach in the district has many layers. Some of my duties include collaborating with math teachers to align common core standards with curriculum resources, helping teachers implement research-based strategies to best support students, and increasing opportunities for RSD students to become college and career ready.
How long have you been working for Redmond School District &
what did you do before coming here?
Before coming to RSD, I taught high school science in Chicago for 13 years, middle school science in Montana for 4 years, was an instructional coach in Denver for two years, and now I have been in Redmond for 2 years.
This is my third year at RSD. Previously, I taught secondary mathematics for 13 years in Virginia, everything from Pre-Algebra to Pre-Calculus. Each year I wrote curriculum, mentored teachers, designed and taught online courses, and provided instructional strategy workshops to my staff as well as at local universities. While in Virginia, I earned my National Board certification, became a clinical faculty member at the College of William and Mary, and received district teacher of the year in 2004 and 2010.
What made you decide that you wanted to work in education?
I love to teach. I love the daily interactions with people and that the job never gets boring. I love that the problem is never solved and there is always a better way to do things, and I like the challenge of finding the best solution for the group with whom I am working.
My senior year in high school was a game-changer. My math teacher had spinal surgery and missed most of the school year. We were simply given a textbook and told what topics to learn for the final exam. (This was before the internet, so we couldn’t just watch YouTube!) We changed from sitting in rows not talking, to sitting in groups and finding the best way to explain skills to each other. For the first time, I looked forward to attending class and realized I had a knack for breaking down math concepts. I never would have considered teaching if hadn’t been for that challenging (yet rewarding) year. I’m thankful for my teaching career because I’ve had the freedom to create a classroom where students want to learn, work as a team and have fun at the same time.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I really like helping to make teachers’ jobs easier. I remember as a classroom teacher, I never had the time to research new technologies and classroom resources. Teachers, I have found, are most appreciative when you don’t waste their time. They are busy people. When the teachers that I work with say, “Wow, that is really helpful,” or “I understand it now. Thanks for your patience.”- those are my most rewarding times. Not so different than when I worked with students.
Even though I enjoy all aspects of my job, there are days when I find my role especially rewarding. For example, after collaborating with a teacher to implement a task or activity, we will share it with other teachers. Many times I see a teacher at a different school using the idea, or modifying it to fit their lesson. I love those moments because I know we are breaking down walls between classrooms, generating excitement to try something new, and reaching as many students as possible. I am fortunate to work with teachers so eager to help their students succeed.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about Redmond School District?
After leaving the large, urban school district in Denver, I really needed to be in a place where everyone knows your name and people actually care about you beyond the workplace. Redmond breathed new life back into me and I appreciate all of the teachers and staff here who have been so welcoming, and who work so hard every day to build a strong community and better their students.
I knew from the first day I visited the district, that RSD was special. Everyone I met was down-to-earth, with genuine smiles, and student-centered conversation. Now, two years later, I’m still impressed by the positive atmosphere in our district. You can see from the daily staff and student interactions that there is a high-level of mutual respect between the schools and the community. I feel lucky every day to be part of such a supportive environment, and part of a district that is so willing to put its students first.
David Burke, Director of Secondary Education, shares this about Stacy and Cindy…
“Stacy is a distinguished teacher who is passionate about providing support to teachers and principals. She has a wealth of instructional knowledge and goes above and beyond to ensure teachers and principals have the supports they need to be successful. She is dedicated to improving outcomes for kids by building systems to support teachers and students.”
“Cindy is an essential part of our team here in Redmond. She brings huge value to the work through her deep knowledge and rich expertise in math and math instruction. She has a calm and intelligent approach to the work and people love that about her. Cindy is well loved by her colleagues and is a constant, positive force for improvement. She’s irreplaceable.”
Thank you Stacy & Cindy for supporting our teachers!
Your talents are making success possible for our students!