Thursday, May 23, 2013
Dorchester District Two celebrated its teachers May 9 with a special ceremony honoring them. This the last part in a series paying homage to these exceptional leaders by printing the tributes written about them.
Teachers of the Year
Summerville Elementary School
Debbie Malinoski taught fourth and fifth grade ELA at Summerville Elementary before taking on the new role as Instructional Technology Specialist this year. Going from a classroom teacher into this role, she understands fully the power of technology as it is integrated into classroom instruction.
She is a support for teachers throughout the day by offering one on one assistance, group training, assistance with data analysis and a thousand little emergencies. Debbie believes that her greatest contribution to education is the projects she creates to share with teachers. She firmly believes that teaching is a craft that must be continuously molded.
Her personal and professional achievement of receiving her national board certification exemplifies this commitment.
William M. Reeves, Jr. Elementary School
“I believe that teachers hold significant power in the lives of children and with that comes responsibility to provide those students with nothing but the best of their talents and abilities.” This is the powerful teaching philosophy of Shannon Eugley who has taught special education at Reeves Elementary for the past 5 years.
She has an understanding of and appreciation for the challenges that the learners she serves face on a daily basis. Shannon has worked to design a creative space for learning that is inviting to students and it screams, “I want you to be here!” One of her most visible influences at Reeves is the after school Bravo/Theater Club she initiated three years ago.
The purpose is to allow students to explore theatre and the arts while building teamwork skills through a six-month process that culminates in a musical production. This immensely popular program has brought hundreds of students, families and staff members together to make a difference at Reeves.
District Teacher of Year nominees
Ashley Ridge High School
A veteran teacher of 24 years, Carol Staines moved to the area from Pennsylvania and began teaching special education at Ashley Ridge High four years ago. Her tenth and twelfth grade English inclusion classes are the definition of successful inclusion. Since most of her waking hours are spent at the Ridge, she also teaches in the Evening School Program.
To ensure her students have the knowledge they need to be successful she reviews each student’s IEP with them. She stresses that having an IEP does not mean they have reduced intelligence, they just learn in a different way.
Carol believes that are greatest contribution to education is doing everything in her power to ensure her students are high school graduates. At the very core of her teaching is the belief that an effective teacher treats all students with respect. School administrators describe Carol as a cheerleader, a team player, a confidante and a spirited member of the Ashley Ridge Faculty.
Fort Dorchester Elementary School
Years ago a teacher recognized the educational uniqueness of Jessica Nealious and gave her the tools to attain academic success. It was in honor of this teacher that Jessica decided to become an educator. Jessica has emulated this same belief in children in her own classroom.
Or, in her words, “Good teaching provides the opportunity to open the minds of students to the limitless boundaries of education.”
During her four years teaching at Fort Dorchester Elementary, she has taught a wide range of students from GATE to resource students which she credits with strengthening her patience and perseverance.
In addition, Jessica works with the school Lego Teams. Her love of children does not end when she leaves the school building. She is a volunteer with the Woodland High football team and has been named their official team Mom. Indeed, her love and concern for children also knows no boundaries.
Summerville High School
For the past ten years at Summerville High, Jennifer Roberts has had a powerful impact on at-risk students or students who have not experienced academic success in a traditional way. Jennifer teaches math to students in ninth through twelfth grades and oversees the credit recovery lab for students who have had difficulty with math classes.
In fact, she piloted the first online curriculum at Summerville High years ago. She was challenged to be creative with what could be done to help students graduate on time. In her heart, she knew she could make a difference with students that gave up on school long ago.
Each year, Jennifer works with approximately 180 students that are “at-promise,” doing whatever she can to help them succeed. As she says of her teaching style, “I teach all my students the same, but different.”
Jennifer ardently believes that educators should have as their primary goal to help students find a way to success, and she never wavers from this belief.
Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary
“I believe I became a teacher because it was always meant for me to be a teacher.” This strong belief of Kayana Hawkins helps to explain why her fifth-grade classroom at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary is a place where children thrive as they are encouraged to shoot for the moon each day.
As important as the math and science she teaches, are the opportunities she provides for students to experience and practice respect. She believes that a classroom cannot function properly if mutual respect is not flowing as naturally as the air in the room.
Since Kayana began teaching four years ago, she sees each school year as her one chance to make a difference for those students. She works hard to make each day count.
Her philosophy of teaching is simple yet solid, “Without students knowing that they are safe, respected, and cared for, I cannot reach my goal of teaching them with success.”