First-year teacher balances approach

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The sniffling students streaming from the third-grade classroom had just watched a sad movie, but the film wasn’t really why they were crying.

Thursday was the Westwood Elementary School students’ final day of the school year, and they were going to miss first-year teacher Laura Westercamp. The 20 children had been emotional all week, telling her they’re proud to be her first class, and watching the film on their final day was all it took to turn on the tears, Westercamp said.

The school year was a 10-month learning experience, an accomplishment like finishing a marathon, Westercamp, 23, said. She began teaching at the Greenwood elementary school in the fall to fill in for a teacher on a yearlong maternity leave. She’s heading into summer break still a temporary teacher, but Principal Lisa Harkness hopes to bring her back full time in the fall.

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