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Lifelong Learning

Fourth-grade teacher named Dorothy Dodds Teacher of the Year

April 19, 2018

Nicole Bolluyt, fourth-grade teacher at Dorothy Dodds Elementary School, did not begin her college career thinking she wanted to be a teacher, but she is thankful she changed her mind.

“I had inspirational teachers all through my school career that I wanted to strive to be like when I decided that I wanted to teach,” said Bolluyt, who was named this year’s Dorothy Dodds Teacher of the Year.

Bolluyt has been a teacher for Moorhead Area Public Schools for 12 years. She has taught kindergarten and grades 3-5 at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School for 11 years before moving to Dorothy Dodds Elementary this year.

A graduate of Moorhead High School, Bolluyt began college studying athletic training. She changed majors and transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating with an elementary education degree. She later received her master’s degree from St. Catherine University.

According to Robin Grooters, principal at Dorothy Dodds Elementary, Bolluyt is a kind and reflective teacher.

“Nicole strives to build relationships with both students and families, and she is willing to put in the extra time to ensure their success,” Grooters said. “She is a positive asset to our learning community at Dorothy Dodds.”

“I believe that each day my students enter my classroom, I am working to teach the whole child to be the best person that they can be,” Bolluyt said. “I want them to be respectful of themselves, their peers, and their teachers as well as to be the best learners they can be.”

Bolluyt has served on several school committees, including the building leadership team and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) team. She also served as the leader for the K-Kids group at Hopkins for more than five years and assisted with the new leadership group in 2016-17.

“Nicole has contributed immensely to our building climate and culture by her strong collaboration skills as demonstrated in her work with our PBIS team at Dorothy Dodds,” Grooters said. “I have observed Nicole to be open and willing to accept new ideas, but also promote and lead with her own vision and expertise.”

“I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without the support and guidance of the people I work with each day,” Bolluyt said. “They have encouraged me, supported me, believed in me, and challenged me to be the best teacher I can each day.”

Photo: Nicole Bolluyt, fourth-grade teacher at Dorothy Dodds Elementary School and this year’s Dodds Teacher of the Year, works with a small group of students on reading and answering questions about a mythology passage.

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