Elementary School Teacher of the Year



Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Dawn Marie Soliman

Dawn Marie Soliman began her career in the Yonkers Public Schools in 2000 at School 23 where she remains today, as she says, “as a member of the School 23 family.” For the past 22 years, Dawn’s focus has been early childhood education, having taught prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. Currently, she nurtures kindergartners. A career that Dawn says began as a young child always wanting to be a teacher, reading books to her stuffed animals and giving homework to her stepbrother. Principal Michael Walpole endorsed the nomination.

Ms. Soliman received a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and a Master of Science in Elementary Education, both from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. In addition, Ms. Soliman is an adjunct professor at the college preparing new teachers. 

“Having children of my own has influenced my teaching skills and has made me a better teacher,” Ms. Soliman wrote in her application, “It has made me more sensitive to the individual needs of my students, how important their home environment effects the ability to learn and the value of nurturing the whole child to meet social, emotional and academic needs. Most importantly, having children solidified my personal belief that early childhood experiences and development lays the foundation that will be there for a lifetime.” This was reinforced in Ms. Soliman’s philosophy statement. “As a society, we cannot believe that each child learns, grows, and views success the same way…it is my responsibility to know my students' strengths as well as their weaknesses, their passions, and their anxieties. It is my duty to make their kindergarten experience a safe place where they can grow not only academically but socially and emotionally as well.” 

Ms. Soliman applies this same commitment to her interactions with parents and guardians. She noted, “having successful communication and a positive relationship helps ensure the success of my students. It is important to listen to the parent to truly learn where a child is at mentally/socially/academically.” Through regular communications with families using ClassDojo, being available to talk to parents and guardians in the evening and on weekends and providing supplemental tools for parents to use at home with struggling students, Ms. Soliman builds strong bonds that support students’ success throughout their education. 

When asked what she liked the most about her job, Ms. Soliman responded, “I truly love my job, where I work, the people I work with and the children as well as the families that I get the honor to serve. There is not one aspect that I like most. Being part of the School 23 family allots me the opportunity to pursue my passion each and every day; I get to watch each individual child learn and grow. I get the opportunity to work along side many individuals who share beliefs, drive and passions.”

Dawn and Andrew Soliman have two children; Michael, who is eleven, and Cece, who is 8.