Susan has taught in the Omega Program since 2006. Prior to moving to Asheville, she spent three years teaching language arts and math in middle schools in Houston, Texas. Susan holds a Bachelors Degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Elon College, has her teaching certificate, and obtained a Master’s degree with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction in the Middle Grades in the spring of 2016 from Gardner-Webb University.

While in Texas, Susan also developed instructional curricula and enrichment programs for language arts, reading literacy, and math. Her efforts earned her several honors including an invitation to present her reading program to the Texas Middle School Association and recognition by WGBH of Boston for her after-school math program. With WGBH’s support, Susan and her team produced an instructional video designed to help middle schools incorporate math enrichment activities in their after-school programs.

When Susan decided to move back East, a cousin directed her to Rainbow, “the best school in Asheville”. This strong recommendation brought her here; the school’s emphasis on building relationships between students, teachers and parents is what keeps her here. Susan is passionate about the importance of relationship and trust building, and she believes these efforts inspire self-directed, curious and eager learners.

Susan enjoys the challenge of teaching middle school students who can be adults one moment and then children the next. Her students are enthusiastic and creative thinkers who sometimes need help figuring out how to get information from their fingertips to their brains. Susan loves giving them the tools to make those connections. She appreciates that Rainbow’s project-based curriculum enables her to customize these tools to meet a variety of learning styles.

When Susan is not helping her students set personal goals, collaborating on a mega-theme project, inspiring “light bulb” moments, or nudging kids out the door at the end of the week, she enjoys spending time with her young family, running, reading, enjoying music, knitting and if there’s a spare half hour catching a home improvement reality show.

You can reach her at: Susan.Waddell@rainbowlearning.org