With great excitement, we welcome Audra Surman to the Literacy Rochester Team as the Instructional Coordinator.
Audra received her undergraduate degree from The College at Brockport in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children, Elementary Education, and Dance. In 2015, she moved to a rural village in Alaska where she began her career as a Special Education Teacher supporting students from Preschool through high school.
Throughout her four years there, she was immersed in the rich culture of the Yup’ik traditions and learned from different members of the community. During her final year there, she participated in a traditional dance celebration where she was recognized as an honorary member of their community.
Additionally, Audra attended the University of Alaska at Fairbanks where she completed her master’s degree in Literacy for Emerging Bilingual Learners. She spent her summers living in Fairbanks attending intensive course work and participated in virtual classes throughout the academic school year. She learned educational pedagogies and researched the importance of using culturally relevant content to support comprehension when teaching new literacy skills.
In June of 2019, Audra moved back to NY where she became a classroom teacher at a local charter school. She taught with a partner teacher in a Kindergarten/First Grade loop classroom. She was the lead teacher in English Language Arts teaching her young learners the foundational skills of the English Language. She also taught her students local Rochester History ranging from prehistoric times through present day.
She eventually discovered Literacy Rochester and was happily surprised by the opportunity to expand and share her educational skills. She is currently supporting the Instructional department as the Instructional Coordinator and is leading multiple English as a Second Language courses at neighboring Rochester Libraries.
When Audra is not working you can find her out walking or running with her dog on some of her favorite local trails. She hopes to spend some time in the Adirondack mountains this summer and hike new trails with friends and family. She also loves to kayak in the finger lakes and enjoys cross country skiing in the winter months.