Stimson strives to make impression on foreign students


Photo Connor Lawless

Although she did not start out working with English learners, new English Language Development teacher Suzanne Stimson is committed to her mission of helping these students succeed while trying to understand their backgrounds.

Abby Keene, Staff Writer

C207 is becoming a busy place with the addition of new English Language Development [ELD] teacher Suzanne Stimson, who works with students from various cultures to learn English at their own pace within many academic subject areas.

Stimson attended the University of Delaware for her undergraduate degree in business and worked in the corporate world for over fifteen years. She recently made a full transition into special education.

“[Coming to Algonquin] was more a secondary career change; I had worked in special education before,” Stimson said.

Stimson worked at Lincoln Street Elementary School as an instructional aid before choosing to come to the ELD department at Algonquin. She enjoys  working  with students and seeing how much they overcome while learning English.

“I had the opportunity to work with English learners during a program that Northborough and Southborough runs each summer,” Stimson said. “I liked working with smaller groups, and I liked working with English learners. I would say, I am really impressed with how hard they [the students] work and how much they have to overcome. It is a very interesting group of students to me.”

Stimson teaches many subjects, such as math and history, to students that speak English as a second language. The students’ abilities range from speaking little or no English to being  proficient in the language.

“We put our English language development classes into levels, so I teach the higher level,” Stimson said. “I teach one class that is level three and four. Those are for our students who are more proficient in English. I teach one English learners U.S History class…I also co-teach two periods for Integrated Math 1.”

Stimson said her transition into the job was aided by Jennifer Cuker, Algonquin’s other English Language Development teacher.

“She [Stimson] is getting to know the ropes both at Algonquin and being in this role, but we are working together really nicely,” Cucker said. “She’s already advocating for students by talking and going to the administration if necessary. She also talks to other teachers who have shared students to help not only teach them English, but also United States culture.”

Cukar reiterated that Stimson is working towards bettering the ELD program at Algonquin and helping her students not only in academics, but in their personal lives as well.

“For my position I get to enjoy a diversity of students,” Stimson said. “I have students from Brazil, Colombia, Egypt and Japan, so it’s really just learning about their cultures.”

It is difficult coming to a new country for students, and with Stimson’s positive learning environment, it makes it a little bit easier.