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Teacher Robert Sautter Earns National Award


Robert Sautter, a kindergarten teacher at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary, begins each school day with a community circle in which students greet each other using their home languages. He also implements a partnership plan with parents so they can share their goals for their children.

“When I am shown the family photos, I listen attentively to the stories told,” said Sautter. “When I am offered dinner, I accept and participate in family customs—and I learn.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project will recognize Sautter and four other outstanding educators from across the nation with the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching on Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes educators who have demonstrated excellence in teaching students from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The winners were selected through a rigorous review process by an expert panel of teachers and scholars. Each educator will be presented with an award of $1,000. Video of their teaching techniques will be used to create professional development resources that will help educators across the nation better support students.

“These educators have demonstrated remarkable skill for teaching and inspiring students from diverse backgrounds,” said Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance. “We hope this award not only recognizes these talented teachers but provides other educators with tools they can use in their classrooms.”

A full biography of Sautter can be viewed here.

The awards ceremony will be held at The Pew Charitable Trusts D.C. Conference Center. The keynote presentation will be given by Lisa Delpit, author of Multiplication is for White People and Other People’s Children. Delpit is the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University, Baton Rouge, La.

The event, organized by Education Week Teacher, also will feature panel discussions exploring the nature of culturally responsive teaching and its importance in schools. The ceremony can be watched live at 2 p.m. EST on Jan. 25 at

For more than 20 years, Teaching Tolerance has provided anti-bias education resources to teachers across the country through its award-winning Teaching Tolerance magazine, multimedia teaching kits, online curricula, professional development resources and classroom-friendly social justice documentaries. These materials are provided to educators at no cost.

photo courtesy of Todd Bigelow