Emily Dudek

Pollard Middle School

"Ms. Dudek has been a beacon for our family,” says one mother. 

This is the resounding feeling from all students and families who work with Emily Dudek, Special Education Liaison at Pollard Middle School. When asked to describe Emily, these are just some of the words that quickly came to mind: dedicated, enthusiastic, engaging, flexible, creative, empathetic, ingenious, caring, humorous. 

Emily has the ability to develop a unique relationship with each of her students, quickly building trust and rapport so the student learns to and wants to succeed. 

One parent shares, “Ms. Dudek has the ability to bring out the absolute best in my child. While educating my daughter academically, Ms. Dudek is teaching her a myriad of other learning and life skills. She does this in a way in which my daughter is unaware of all of the extras that she is learning. Best of all, Ms. Dudek has taught my daughter to believe in herself!” Another family states “Ms. Dudek’s skills as an educator and love of her students are why my child is where he is today. She has fostered confidence and independence in him.”

From reaching out immediately to create a virtual learning center community to support her students during the pandemic, to enthusiastically and whole-heartedly coaching the first Pollard Unified basketball team this year, Emily inspires all those she works with. One student’s words describe her well: “She is such a kind person. She is very patient. She allows me to take my time on my school work, and if something is hard for me, she helps me understand it”.

Principal Tamatha Bibbo sums it up perfectly, “Emily is a consummate professional who always, always puts her students and families before her own needs. She goes above and beyond — giving 100% of her kindness, caring, and love to her students, and in turn, they love her back. Emily puts her students first and personally designs and delivers engaging lessons while communicating positivity and excitement to students and families. She brings joy, spreads a love for and to her students and for the learning process, and models the way in which we should all behave as a teacher.”  

We are so happy that Needham recognizes what a wonderful educator they have in Emily Dudek and hope this award demonstrates that her school students and families agree. You are irreplaceable, Ms. Dudek, and you will be tremendously missed as your students graduate this year. 

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