Year Honored: 2012Otter Creek Elementary School
Little Rock, AR
At the time of the Award, Zsuzsanna Diamond was:Teacher
Otter Creek Elementary School
Little Rock, AR
Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
A well-rounded educator with a specific expertise in math, Little Rock’s Zsuzsanna Diamond constantly pushes to challenge her pupils with rigor. In her open, community-like classroom, Diamond keeps her students on the edge of their seats through her use of visual aids and engaging discussions geared toward higher-order thinking and problem-solving. She employs Literature Circles when teaching literature, incorporates Japanese teaching techniques in math, and uses data to gauge understanding and guide her instruction. The result? Diamond’s classroom of high-need students has flourished under her tutelage, with proficiency rates ranking above district averages in math and literacy.
In the teaching profession for just five years, Diamond’s role as a teacher leader reaches from her Otter Creek Campus to district, state and, increasingly, national levels. As a math coach, she was invited to present a math lesson study at the national conference of the Benjamin Banneker Association, an organization supporting teachers in presenting the highest quality of mathematics learning to African-American, and indeed all, students. Diamond presents a professional development math workshop to teachers during summer break and serves on various district and state committees. She is collaborating on a study at Mills College of Japanese math textbooks in order to incorporate successful teaching techniques into lessons for American students. This Diamond is truly a gem.