Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Education

Hillsborough Diversity Educator of the Year will be named on March 28

Named for the Lee County educator who blazed a trail for African-American women, the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator award celebrates teachers and administrators who make significant contributions to advancing the education of minority groups. The Hillsborough County winner will be announced March 28 along with Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year. These are the finalists for 2013, and the following are excerpts from their essays.

Socorrito Claudio

Wimauma Elementary School

Language and social studies teacher, English Language Learners and Exceptional Student Education

"Fifth grade students serve our school community by participating in the 'Fifth Grade Reader Leaders' program I founded. This buddy reading program I created goes beyond the traditional buddy reading program. The Reader Leaders program encourages fifth graders to model lessons to their first grade buddies by sharing their think-alouds when they read. Students can be seen with teaching aids including pointers and post-its as they model great reading strategies. This 30-minute weekly program not only motivates all the students involved, it also fosters community among our school grade levels and classroom."

William F. Leonard II

Progress Village Middle Magnet School

Reading, social and personal skills teacher, Exceptional Student Education/Emotional Behavior Disorder

"Most young men just want that one person that they feel they can trust, confide in, depend on and respect. Once that hurdle is crossed, mentoring and academic achievement become easy. I have worked with FCAT Level 1 kids and watched them soar immediately to Level 3 in reading and mathematics. Level 2 kids have moved to Level 4 in a year's time. I've even had a few kids score a 5 in reading. Through parent collaboration, mentoring, classroom instruction and tutoring, all kids do achieve."

Leticia Brull

Dickenson Elementary School

Resource teacher, English for Speakers of Other Languages

"Dickenson Elementary is 70 percent Hispanic with a large number of Spanish-speaking-only students and parents, thus we have a great need for an ELL Resource teacher that has been trained in how to work with Hispanic families. Even though I am Hispanic there are more than 20 countries under the umbrella of the Hispano category. It is vital for me to be receptive and know the culture, customs and traditions of these other countries that are present at my school and district. Finally, respect is the most important value that teachers need to teach their students."

Stacey P. Hirn

FishHawk Creek Elementary School

Fourth-grade math, science and writing teacher

"Treating each child with respect and dignity regardless of the choices he or she makes has been my mission from my first years as a beginning teacher in an inner-city mixed-ability classroom. These amazing children who were often labeled "high risk and unruly" taught me so much more about their own survival and challenging obstacles than any textbook.

"The motto it takes three is used continuously with my students and their parents. Although many adults are unable to spend quality time due to work schedules, etc., the parents of my students know their presence in their child's life is of utmost importance."

JoAnna Helak

B.T. Washington Elementary School

Kindergarten and second-grade reading coach

"Each school day I work very hard to close the achievement gap by listening, caring, and respecting the students that I teach and by understanding their family life and needs. I provide them with reading strategies, techniques, communication skills, and a variety of books to instill the love of reading and to become an avid reader.

"I often conference with parents by making home visits with the social worker and guidance counselor. These conferences provide information about their child's progress in school and share information on services that their child may need."

     
Comments
In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

Graduates of those schools frame diplomas bearing the name of their own universities, which all fall under the umbrella of the Tampa-based USF System.But under proposed changes to a bill moving through the Florida House of Representatives, the USF Sy...
Updated: 2 hours ago
School board member is ‘dumbfounded’ by Times report on Hillsborough substitute teachers

School board member is ‘dumbfounded’ by Times report on Hillsborough substitute teachers

By Marlene SokolTimes Staff WriterTAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District should reconsider how it hires substitute teachers, and that conversation should happen publicly, School Board member Lynn Gray said Tuesday.Responding to a Tampa Bay ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pasco class notes for Jan. 19

Theatre/Art/MusicCenter for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (727) 774-7382.• The center’s Learn it Live! series presents The Three Little Pigs, at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 24- 25. Pre-K – grade 4. Public show at 11 a.m. Jan. ...
Published: 01/16/18
Bill to sweeten Bright Futures scholarship sails through Senate

Bill to sweeten Bright Futures scholarship sails through Senate

Nearly a decade since the luster on Florida’s signature merit scholarship program began to grow dim, state lawmakers have taken a decisive step toward restoring its appeal. Just three days into the 2018 Legislative session, the Florida Senate ...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Parents vent at school district meeting over fate of Lee Elementary School

Parents vent at school district meeting over fate of Lee Elementary School

TAMPA — Leaders of the Hillsborough County School District tried Thursday to reassure parents they are doing their best for the displaced students of Lee Elementary School, who lost their school in a September fire. To some, it was a hard sell...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
UF fraternity suspended until 2021

UF fraternity suspended until 2021

The University of Florida becomes the latest school to suspend a fraternity for alleged incidents involving alcohol and drug use. In December, Heather White, UF’s interim dean of students, sent the university’s chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi...
Published: 01/11/18
Napping, name-calling and stealing: Who’s subbing for your kids’ teachers in Hillsborough?

Napping, name-calling and stealing: Who’s subbing for your kids’ teachers in Hillsborough?

TAMPA — Kenneth Spain told his students at Chamberlain High School that he overcame a pornography addiction when he found Jesus. Pornography and Jesus are both taboo topics for public school teachers, so this became a case for the Hillsborough...
Published: 01/11/18
Will Florida bring back full tuition breaks for college? State senators weigh in today

Will Florida bring back full tuition breaks for college? State senators weigh in today

A bill that would permanently expand state financial aid for tens of thousands of Florida college students faces a key vote today in the state Senate.The "Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018," also known as Senate Bill 4, recently sail...
Published: 01/11/18

Pasco school board election ballot fills

One Pasco County School Board incumbent has decided not to pursue another term, while two others have announced their 2018 reelection bids.Steve Luikart, often a dissenting voice on some of the board’s more contentious issues, said Wednesday he will ...
Published: 01/11/18
Excellence in Education: Hillsborough school district celebrates best

Excellence in Education: Hillsborough school district celebrates best

Teacher of the YearBonnie BresnyanLewis ElementaryBresnyan has taught for 31 years, 20 of those in Hillsborough County, and currently serves Lewis as an ESE specialist. Her accomplishments include National Board Certification, 2006-07 Ida S. Baker Di...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/14/18