Horne receives The Burlington Beacon’s Teacher/Staff of the Month award for February.
By William Smith
Tuty Horne discovered a passion for education at a young age.
Horne, the winner of The Burlington Beacon’s first Teacher/Staff of the Month award, was already tutoring in her home country of Indonesia when she was 17 years old.
“The way I learned, my education was kind of different. That’s why I combine what I’ve learned from my background,” she said.
Horne moved to America in 1997 and started out as a volunteer in education. She lost her husband to cancer in 2004 and transitioned from volunteer to full-time teacher.
She has been teaching ever since, raising a daughter while working in both Fort Madison and Burlington schools.
Four years ago, Horne became a lead teacher for early head start at the Corse Early Childhood Education Center. That means she helps children 3 and under develop social skills and learn about the world around them — mostly through play.
Horne is more than a caretaker. She watches the children as they play, investing in each of their individual learning styles.
“Nurturing is important, and building relationships,” Horne said. “At the same time, we are teaching them self-control. We are helping them become self-sufficient.”
Horne was nominated for the award by Cindy McCannon, who works as a cook at the school. Horne had no idea she had been nominated and thought the award was a mistake at first.
McCannon wasn’t going to spoil the surprise.
“I didn’t say anything to anybody,” she said.
Horne, who has never sought nor imagined a turn in the spotlight, was delighted by the sentiment behind the award. She and McCannon shared a hug after an interview with The Burlington Beacon.
“Tuty has a heart for what she does, and it shows,” McCannon said. “She always goes above and beyond, and she has got to be one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. Everybody loves working with her.”
Horne received a prize package provided by The Burlington Beacon, Burlington by The Book, and Dunn Brothers Coffee.