Congratulations to Ozzie Cutter, this month’s Spirit of Rowlett Award winner! This award is to publicly recognize ordinary residents doing extra-ordinary things in our community, and the recipients are nominated by YOU – the citizens of Rowlett.
Ozzie was nominated by Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian, who says:“Ozzie came to the Library’s ESL program in 2015 as a substitute teacher. Today, she teaches two Conversational English classes, which at present are attended by 30 students from 18 different countries. Her dedication and commitment as a teacher of English is already commendable; however, she brings much, much more. It’s hard to know where to begin…
• Ozzie doesn’t just teach the language, she incorporates facets of living in America that her students may not understand. Things like:o Knowing how to call 911 in an emergency
o Making a doctor’s appointment
o Buying groceries
o Ordering at a restaurant
o Filling out an employment application. Through her classes, many students have improved their language skills to a point where they were able to secure entry level employment. Sometimes that effort included Ozzie’s active involvement in seeking out those job opportunities.
o Explaining the concept of school zones and other traffic laws
o Jargon and slang
• She regularly markets the ESL classes, taking fliers to businesses and organizations that are likely to have people in need of assistance with English.
• Her teaching strategies include a project approach, one being a family tree to help students learn the different English words for relatives.
• Ozzie facilitates students’ ability to attend classes, occasionally picking them up and taking them home when a ride is needed.
• She takes a personal interest in their lives, hosting pot locks and social get-togethers, and working with individuals who need extra help outside outside of class.
• Ozzie’s care and concern for her students goes above and beyond (She once accompanied a student who got a speeding ticket to court, explaining what the ticket said and meant, and stepped him through the resolution process.)
• She volunteers with Catholic Charities in Dallas and encourages her students’ involvement in community activities (Ozzie and her students participated in a Library cultural exchange program, volunteered in the local Reindeer Project and assisted in the City’s Trunk or Treat event this year.)
There are many more examples of her service that could be pointed to. Ozzie’s energy, enthusiasm and sense of humor are infectious. She facilitates ESL students’ integration into the community in a variety of creative ways which, in turn, increases their ability to participate in the life of Rowlett and to give back in return.”
We hope you enjoy this interview of Ozzie by Mayor Pro Tem Martha Brown.
Do you know a local hero? Nominate them today!. This is a great way to say “Thank you” to those who have encouraged, supported and acted in a way that has impacted you in your everyday life. We look forward to hearing from you and to providing this recognition for good deeds, done well!