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Two Florida Educators Selected as Winners of Prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence
The White House has announced the selection of science teacher Allan Phillips of South Plantation High School in Broward County and math teacher Michelle Voelker of Walton Middle School in Walton County as the Florida winners of the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Phillips and Voelker were among those chosen in recognition of their dedication in bringing science and mathematics to life for their students.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is given annually to the best pre-college-level science and mathematics teachers across the country. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the award ceremony and educational and celebratory events. For more information about the award, visit www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-math-and-science-teachers-award-release. Congratulations!
School-Related Employee of the Year Announced
Christina Guhl, an Education Paraprofessional at Lancaster Elementary School in Orange County has been named the 2010 School-Related Employee of the Year. Guhl was surprised in her reading lab at the school on June 7, 2010, by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith and Orange County Schools Superintendent Ronald Blocker. She was recognized for organizing her school’s service learning projects and raising reading achievement levels for many of her students. Guhl received a check for $1,000 in honor of her outstanding efforts and superior commitment to the children she serves.
The following were finalists for the 2010 School-Related Employee of the Year award:
The School-Related Employee of the Year program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems. Award winners receive $1,000 and finalists receive $400. For more information about the School-Related Employee of the Year program, visit www.fldoe.org/profdev/yearemp.asp.
K-12 Common Core Standards in English-Language Arts and Mathematics Unveiled
After a year-long process led by governors and chief education officers in 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia, the K-12 Common Core Standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics were launched June 2, 2010, at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee Ga. The standards were developed in collaboration with content experts, teachers, school administrators and parents to define and establish clear goals for learning that will prepare America’s children for success in college and work. The release of the standards marks the end of the development phase and the beginning of the adoption and implementation process by states. In the coming months, each state will follow its own procedures and processes for adopting the standards. To learn more about the K-12 Common Core Standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics, visit www.corestandards.org.
Department of Education Announces District Data Leader of the Year Award
The Florida Department of Education has announced an exciting new award program designed to recognize school superintendents who show exemplary leadership in using data to increase student achievement in their district . The first-ever District Data Leader of the Year Award highlights the critical role district leaders play in supporting and encouraging the use of data, and in communicating its relevance to teachers, administrators, parents, students and other stakeholders. For more information about the Award, visit www.fldoe.org/arm/1011ddlya.asp. The deadline for submitting nominations is Sept. 1, 2010.
Governor Crist Submits Race to the Top Phase Two Application
On June 1, 2010, Gov. Crist submitted Florida’s application for Phase Two of the federal Race to the Top competition to the U.S. Department of Education. The application had the support of 65 of Florida’s 67 school districts, three of the state’s four lab schools, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and was reinforced with commitments from 54 local teacher unions. Up to $700 million in funding has been requested to implement locally developed, comprehensive education reform plans. Winners of the competition are expected to be announced in late August/early September of 2010. For more information about the Race to the Top competition, visit www.fldoe.org/ARRA/RacetotheTop.asp.
Families Encouraged to Explore Adoption
The state of Florida has an opportunity for families to consider adoption. If you are willing to open your hearts and homes to children in Florida’s public adoption system, the state’s Explore Adoption initiative may be just for you. This campaign promotes the benefits of public adoption and encourages Florida families to consider adopting children who are older, disabled or part of a sibling group. There are unique benefits for participating, including a legally-secure process, financial assistance, and children waiting right now for loving homes and families. Visit www.AdoptFlorida.org to learn more about this life-changing experience and visit with children looking for a home.
Federal Loan Forgiveness and Tuition Reimbursement Programs Available for Public Service Employees
Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created two new programs designed to assist in paying for federal financial aid – the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.
Seeds of Success