Bridgett (Hamilton) Bunn ’02, MAE ’04 has been named the 2020 Outstanding Cooperating Teacher by the Ohio Association of Teacher Educators (OATE). The annual award is presented to an Ohio educator who has distinguished service in supervising and supporting student teachers and field experience students.
Bunn is a committed and innovative intervention specialist at Van Buren Elementary School who is passionate about teaching, and considers it her calling. “I love not just seeing when the lightbulb comes on for the child, but I love what I get to learn from them, in turn.”
Connie Leatherman, Director of Field Experiences at the University of Findlay nominated Bunn because she is not only an extraordinary teacher, but also a role model and mentor for students pursuing education careers. Leatherman stated: “She shares everything, especially herself. She has outstanding organizational and planning skills that she has passed along to her student teachers.”
Bunn, who earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Findlay as an intervention specialist in 2002 and her master’s degree in 2004, continues to give back to her alma mater by hosting students in field experiences and through student teaching. She welcomes teacher candidates of all levels to her classroom for observations and interviews. She offers student teachers a closer look at what it takes to be effective, engaging them from day one in meetings with colleagues and parents, helping them to take risks that lead to better teaching, and modeling the value of relationship building with students.
In November of 2019, she served as a UF College of Education Visiting Educator, sharing her love of teaching with freshmen and sophomores and painting a realistic picture of the life of a teacher. She also serves on the UF College of Education Advisory Board, helping shape the future of UF’s educational curriculum.
Bunn adds, “If there’s something I can do to create a bridge or a relationship, to make something easier, to help someone grow and learn, that’s what I like to do. And I think you do that through building connections with people, though growing and collaborating.”
Bridgett shares about the value of her University of Findlay MAE degree: