What You Need To Know

She knows all about academic excellence, leadership and loyalty to her kids and her community.

Laura Fratus is in her 27th year in the Pasco County school district – 26 years on the same campus.

During our visit, students held up their “praise tickets” with pride at Gulfside Elementary School.

The kindergarten students earned a trip to the school store to buy their favorite gift.

“You have 50 tickets. Let’s see what you can get,” she told one student.

“It’s teaching them about math. It’s teaching them about positive behavior,” Fratus said. “This is reinforcement for them, so that they make good choices to try to earn their tickets.”

She has been shaping young minds for nearly three decades on the Holiday campus.

“I’ve been called mom. I’ve been called dad. I’ve been called grandma,” she said.

Staff members recently crowned her teacher of the year.

“She’s also a friend to the staff,” Principal Clara Craig said. “They go to her for things. They go to her for advice. They go to her when they’re having a tough day, like all educators do. She’s the one that has the open door.”

For this A+ teacher, it’s all about building relationships and making it fun.

“I use a lot of humor in my class,” Fratus said. “I get silly with them and they love that, and they have fun.”

This content was originally published here.