By Bill Tamburrino
A Julian High School graduate who teaches at Ramona High is Ramona Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3783 2011 Teacher of the Year.
The VFW honored Pixie Sulser in a ceremony on Nov. 16. Sulser received a plaque, a certificate, a badge, a pin and a check for $250.
Sulser graduated from Julian High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and her master’s degree from the University of San Diego.
She has been teaching for 24 years and has taught at every educational level. After teaching a year at Warner Springs, Sulser spent 18 years teaching at Ramona’s elementary level — 16 years at Barnett Elementary and two years at James Dukes Elementary — and then four years at Olive Pierce Middle School. This is her first year teaching at Ramona High School.
Sulser has also served as a master teacher for student teachers as they finish their teacher credentialing program. She co-wrote a musical, “Touring America,” for second-graders, created the district’s first online student written newspaper, the Bulldog Sentinel, and is the adviser of the RHS National Honor Society.
As a middle school teacher she encouraged her students to write Patriot’s Pen Essays. Her classes submitted between 20 and 30 essays a year for the past three years. Before she transferred to RHS, she mentored Ingrid Forbes to continue the Patriot’s Pen tradition at OPMS.
Sulser is also involved in community service. She has been a PONY Baseball Board member and was instrumental in getting a field improvement grant from the county supervisor. She is also a freelance writer for the Ramona Sentinel.
Sulser has been married to Roy Sulser for 27 years and they have three children: Cole, who attends Dartmouth University, Brittany, who attends Palomar College, and Beau, an RHS senior who has been accepted to Dartmouth.
“I do not believe that it is my job as a public school educator to share my opinions,” said Sulser. “I believe that it is my job to encourage students to form their own opinions and to respect the opinions of others, even if they don’t agree with them.”
Sulser grew up all over the United States as a part of a military family. Her dad retired from the Navy. Her grandfather was in the Army and her great-grandfather served in the Army in World War II.
“Pixie Sulser is why the VFW has the Teacher of the Year Program,” said VFW Post Commander John Hine as he announced Sulser 2011 Teacher of the Year. “She is a community soldier who has contributed to the school at large and to its students’ success outside of her primary teaching billet. Her support of VFW youth programs is unprecedented. Her extraordinary team building and inspirational leadership has single-handedly lifted the VFW Essay and Speech contests to a higher level. The ability and desire to identify this type of citizenship enables all members of the VFW to be very proud.”