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Second career choice is the right one for Root

Teacher feature
By: Autumn Matz, Placer Herald Correspondent
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For some people, the first choice is not always the right choice. Colleen Root, a teacher at Antelope Creek Elementary School in Rocklin, has experienced this firsthand. She graduated from the University of Arizona and became a paralegal right out of college. However, she didn’t find what she wanted out of a career in that position. “I was unfulfilled in my job and I wanted to do something that made a difference,” Root said. Root went back to school and earned her teaching credentials as well as her master’s degree. In 2000 she became a teacher at Antelope Creek and has worked there ever since. “I get up every morning and I can’t wait to see my class,” Root said.” I get so much from them, I just want to give them my best.” Root taught first grade until this year. She is now teaching a second and third grade combination class. The move came only days before the new school year began, but she says her fellow teachers helped her make the transition. “I have had such tremendous help from my colleagues at school,” Root said. “The teachers here are amazing. They help me before school and after school.” “Colleen is an outstanding teacher,” Antelope Creek Prinicpal Matt Murphy said. “Every time I walk into her classroom, students are actively engaged in learning. Her classroom is warm and inviting with specific bulletin boards related to current student learning.” But Root’s work does not end in the classroom. “Colleen has organized and coordinated our (grades first through third) reading intervention program,” Murphy said. “This involved coming in over summers to purchase curriculum, organize an intervention classroom and train instructional aides to deliver the program over the course of the last three years. She then maintained the program by working with teachers to identify students in need, communicate with the instructional aides, monitor student progress and work with parents.” And it seems that all of Root’s work has paid off. “We have had great success with the program,” Root said. Root organized a crab feed to help the school raise enough money to get smart technology, which includes interactive whiteboards and other software, in the classrooms. “They are nice to have in the classroom, but they are really expensive,” Root said. Her work on the crab feed did not go unnoticed by the staff at the school. “She singlehandedly organized our first major crab feed and silent auction,” Murphy said. ”This was no small task, as it had never been done at Antelope Creek in previous years. Thanks to Colleen’s efforts, she raised around $22,000 for Antelope Creek.” Root has one child that attends Rocklin High School and another child that just started seventh grade at Spring View Middle School. She said that her children have “absolutely” affected her role as a teacher. “I know firsthand how hard it is to have a family and be working full-time,” Root said. “As a teacher I have sympathy. I try to make homework interactive and fun.”