Heather Landrock is the instructional coach at Dillard Street Elementary School and was named Teacher of the Year in 2013. This year, her duties include assisting teachers with virtual and face-to-face learning, as well as mentoring the school’s new teachers.
What brought you to your school?
From the moment I visited Winter Garden, I fell in love with this town. It reminded me so much of my childhood home that I knew I had found the perfect place to call home. Nestled in between a gorgeous lake and wonderful communities, I found Dillard Street Elementary. Everyone at Dillard was so welcoming to a young college graduate from out-of-town. I knew right away that I was meant to teach here.
What do you love most about your school?
In one word, everything. Each day I am blessed to work with our amazing students who love learning and helping others. Our teachers and administrators are passionate about educating young minds and creating the best possible learning environment — especially during 2020.
What is your motivation?
My motivation is knowing I can help make a difference in the lives of our students; to encourage and to help each child realize their potential.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is celebrating the successes of my current and former students.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Ask any one of my students, and they will tell you the same thing: She loves her pets and Disney.
Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?
My favorite teacher was my second- and fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Colarusso, from Kratzer Elementary School. She loved the arts and reading children’s books with flair. I will never forget when Mrs. Colarusso looked at me and said: “Have you thought about becoming a teacher? You would be great.” I wish Mrs. Colarusso knew how much her words impacted my life and how her legacy continues with a whole new generation of learners.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
From the time I could speak, I always wanted to become a teacher. At five years old I was “teaching” my stuffed animals how to read and write. Each summer, I would help my aunt shop for teaching supplies for her classroom, and I would watch my mother teach Sunday School. I loved their passion for helping children and knew I wanted to do the same.
What is your favorite children’s book and why?
It is so hard to choose just one! I love any of the “Bad Kitty” books by Nick Bruel since I am a huge animal lover. I also love the book “Rumpelstiltskin” by Brothers Grimm.
What are your hobbies?
I love spending time in the great outdoors with my dogs.
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
If I had any superpower it would definitely be time travel. I would use it to go back in time and visit with family and many influential people from the past. I have so many questions to ask!
If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Another tough answer! I love all genres of music, so I don’t think I could narrow it down to just three bands or artists for the rest of my life.
How long have you been at your school and with OCPS?
I have been at Dillard Street Elementary for the past 15 years and with OCPS for 16 years.