A Rose by any other “nombre”…
For almost 17 years Rose Stansberry has served English Language Learners in Hartselle’s schools. Though her title is “interpreter,” a better descriptor of the role she plays in the lives of students and their families would be “lifeline.”
Rose works with families who have limited English-speaking abilities when they are enrolling their children in school, and she works with those children as they are building their school schedules. She works with the teachers of those children to provide them with strategies to help address the language barrier in the classroom, and she very often works with the children themselves one-on-one or in small groups.
Together with the Alabama State Department of Education, Hartselle City Schools is part of the WIDA Consortium of schools and implements World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment recommendations for students whose language skills are a barrier to academic progress in typical classrooms.
Rose Stansberry has been key in reaching out to and serving ELL students. Families and teachers trust Rose to work and advocate for the children under her watch. She lets the schools know if their expectations are too high for a particular student with a language barrier to learning, and she will let students and their families know if a student simply isn’t striving for the excellence of which he is capable.
Rose has commented she wants to reach students and, especially, ensure they leave her care as fluent readers. “A special teacher reached out to me and taught me to read,” she said, “and that has made a difference in my life. I want to do the same for the students I take care of.”
When Hartselle Intermediate School held its most recent Super Citizen/Hero Recognition Day, one of those local heroes was Rose Stansberry.
When the student who was honoring Rose read her essay on why she chose Rose and all that Rose had meant to her, the young girl was filled with emotion. She was filled with anxiety, too, because she was in front of the entire school reading her essay written in English, speaking her words of praise in English, instead of in her native language. When that anxiety became palpable in the gym full of people – who all found themselves silently cheering that student on as she read her way through that essay – it was Rose Stansberry who took a couple of steps toward the podium just in case help was needed. And no one’s face was beaming more than Rose’s when the young student proudly and successfully read the last sentence from that essay and embraced Rose in a gesture of love and appreciation.
F.E. Burleson counselor Leah Turner explained, “Rose is patient with all of us, and she has an ability to see all sides of a puzzle in order to solve it. Rose is often heard asking ‘What can I do to help?’ to any teacher and on behalf of any child in need.” Turner added that working side by side with Rose Stansberry had been a blessing to her.
The name Rose is a fitting one for Mrs. Stansberry. Her interactions with students, families and teachers are beautiful, and she makes the world around her a little bit sweeter. She is most certainly blooming where she has been planted!
HCS Federal Programs Coordinator