Caring, innovative and contagious enthusiasm were just a few of the character traits used to describe the eight recipients of the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce's 2010 Outstanding Educators awards.
The honors were handed out Tuesday during the chamber's annual Salute to Education luncheon.
"Each winner was selected by the principal and peers at their respective schools,'' said Laura Bunce as she handed out the certificates. Bunce is president of Centratel Services and chairman of the chamber board.
• Sam Chapman, a physics and physical science teacher at Largo High School;
• Henrietta Hawkins, a first-grade teacher at Fuguitt Elementary School;
• William Tyler, a physical education teacher at Largo Middle School;
• Deborah Ryan, a middle-school math and social studies teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School;
• Bonnie Fulle, a kindergarten teacher at Southern Oak Elementary School;
• Linda Jordan, a fourth-grade math and science teacher at Indian Rocks Christian School;
• Cornelia "Cory" Keur, an intervention specialist at Belcher Elementary School; and
• Kathy Capabianco, a media specialist at Walsingham Elementary School.
"It's always great to receive attention for doing something good,'' said Chapman. "But you know, I love what I teach. Everyone is scared of physics and they shouldn't be, especially since the advent of the calculator.''
Two graduating Largo High seniors also were honored. Erica Beers and Kristian Beck received $1,000 scholarships because of their academic excellence and service while attending Largo High School.
Beers will attend the Honors College at University of South Florida St. Petersburg in the fall to major in political science before pursuing her lifelong goal of becoming a lawyer.
Beck will attend St. Petersburg College for two years and plans to pursue a career in graphic or fine arts.
Marjorie Sundstrom, principal of Largo High School, took photos of her winners after the program.
"I think there's a special value in this chamber program,'' she said. "There's something powerful in receiving a scholarship from a local organization. It becomes a personal gift to the student because they know the people in their community are supporting them.''