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Cypress Bay High Teacher Wins APA TOPSS Award for Excellence in Teaching

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association

Cypress Bay High Schools (Weston, Fla.) teacher Kimberly Patterson was awarded the American Psychological Association's TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award in April for her dynamic teaching and commitment to the advancement of high school psychology.

Patterson was one of three teachers nationwide who earned the award. The other winners were Laura Brandt, of Grayslake High School in Grayslake, Ill., and Maria Vita, of Penn Manor High School in Millersville, Pa.

"The quality of this year's winners stood out as among the best in the award's history," said TOPSS Chair Jann Longman. "Each winner not only met the minimum requirements of receiving the award, but went above and beyond in sharing their passion of psychology with their students."

Since 2000, APA has presented these awards, in which students and peers nominate individual teachers. Teachers submitted letters of reference, a personal statement and an overview of a lesson plan designated for a topic in psychology and examples of activities, demonstrations or programs related to the topic. A TOPSS subcommittee chose the winners based on the teacher's professionalism, commitment to academic excellence, passion for teaching and leadership in the field.

"The winners were not only up-to-date on the teaching material, but were also extremely innovative and positive forces for their schools." Longman said. "The students who wrote letter of support were exceedingly positive about the teachers, with feedback on how engaging they were and how the study of psychology has influenced their lives."