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Alachua Teacher Named 'Star of Teaching'
by Federal Government

photo
Justesen gives Goodman a children's book written and autographed by Lynn Cheney.

A veteran teacher with Alachua County Public Schools has been named an American Star of Teaching by the United States Department of Education (USDOE).

Ann Goodman, who teaches adaptive physical education and regular P.E. at Sidney Lanier/Anchor Center, was chosen to represent Florida in the national program, which honors teachers who are successful in improving the academic performance of their students and are making a real difference in their students' lives.

"Ann Goodman epitomizes the true spirit of teaching," said Secretary of Education Rod Paige. "She has the great gifts required for outstanding teaching; knowledge of subject, ability to communicate, displaying magic in the classroom, inspiring students and being empathetic."

During a special presentation at the school, Troy Justesen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services for the USDOE, praised Goodman for her work.

"Mrs. Goodman is an example of what it means to be a very good teacher for all students, especially those with disabilities," he said.

Goodman has been teaching since 1976. During her twenty-three years at Sidney Lanier/Anchor Center, she has developed a number of programs aimed at improving the mobility and physical activity level of her students, many of whom are severely disabled. Those programs include ‘Project Safewalk,' which provides 14 adaptive play stations for children with various physical and development limitations.

"My success as a teacher is due to the relationships I have with the teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and community partners at this school," said Goodman. "It's wonderful to be at a school where you have an opportunity to do such meaningful work. This is where I choose to be."

Goodman's work extends beyond the classroom, and even beyond the walls of the school. She is currently the school's PTA treasurer, serves on the school advisory council, chair of the school's reunion committee and coaches with the Special Olympics.

"She's brought great honor to our school, our district and our state," said principal Cathy Costello of Goodman's recognition. "I'm so glad she's here, and I'm proud to be a friend and colleague."