Ms. Strader has served as a DoDEA teacher for more than 10 years and is currently teaching fifth grade at The Sullivans Elementary School in the Pacific East District. Her DoDEA experience also includes teaching at Murray Elementary and Brittin Elementary schools on Ft. Stewart, Ga. Ms. Strader began her teaching career at Thomas D. Gregg Elementary School in Indianapolis, where she formed the foundation for her teaching practices in reaching all learners through a student-centered classroom filled with hands-on learning.

“There are so many things that I enjoy about teaching, but the highlight of every day is watching students’ progress in a multitude of ways,” Ms. Strader said. “Watching a child’s eyes light up in wonder or hearing the excitement in those little voices while discovering a new concept is the best part of day-to-day teaching. While seeing students as adults live out their dreams and hearing their success stories is the ultimate joy.”

While with DoDEA, Ms. Strader has stepped into a variety of leadership positions including leading Team Lead, Continuous School Improvement team, committees, and conducting professional development regarding 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

“Being named 2023 District Teacher of the Year is a great honor, especially in a military community where standards and expectations are high,” she said. “I teach with a team of educators that hold me to high standards as we collaborate to develop, deliver, and assess exceptional teaching and learning strategies. I am not alone in this title but stand with many that push us forward in doing whatever it takes to reach all students.”

Ms. Strader said working with military-connected students is a special honor.

“Each morning as I walk through the gates of the base surrounded by people in uniform, I am reminded of the special honor of serving those who defend and protect our freedoms,” she said. “While the parents are fighting for us, it is our duty to provide the best possible education to their children. Military-connected students come to us with an array of needs, but more importantly an array of attributes like resilience, culture, flexibility, and support. It is heart-warming to see the level of engagement that deployed parents offer their children and the strength of the parents at home.”

Ms. Strader is a strong believer in being a lifelong learner. Presently, she is pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, Virginia and previously graduated from Liberty University with an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She also holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Ms. Rachel Strader 2023 Pacific East Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Rachel Strader 5th Grade Teacher
Open modal Return to top