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Pinellas' Outstanding Educator of the Year 2010-11 finalists

The Pinellas County School District last week announced six finalists for Outstanding Educator of the Year in 2010-11. Finalists were chosen from a pool of 24 semifinalists who were interviewed and observed in their classrooms by three-member judging teams consisting of administrators and a business community leader. The winner will be announced during a celebration on March 1 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation. The finalists are:

SARA CARROLL

Morgan Fitzgerald Middle, Largo

Grade/subject: Sixth Grade Read 180, a reading intervention program

Years at school: 29

Years teaching: 29

Nominated by: Andrea Selden, teacher and former teacher

Excerpt from nomination: "I was a student at St. Petersburg College contemplating whether or not a teaching career would be a good fit for me. Once I saw Mrs. Carroll in action, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher just like her — a teacher who truly cares about her students and creatively finds ways to motivate and engage all students to learn and experience success in the classroom."

JESSICA FELICE

Starkey Elementary, Clearwater

Grade/subject: Fifth-grade general education

Years at school: Seven

Years teaching: Seven

Nominated by: Rebecca Nash, teacher

Why? "She is one of those rare educators born with the gift of teaching, and it just comes to her naturally. That being said, she still works harder than most, and achieves positive results."

VICKI MEREDITH

Woodlawn Elementary, St. Petersburg

Grade/subject: Fifth-grade math and writing

Years at school: One

Years teaching: 39

Has also taught at: Clearview Avenue, North Shore and Blanton elementaries

Nominated by: Karen Russell, principal

Why? "She incorporates many motivating activities which hook her students into learning. As I walk through her room, I hear a squeal and I look up to see her jumping up and down in her high heeled shoes because she is excited about the learning that is taking place. ... After 40 years, when most are looking at retirement, Vicki is still looking for ways to connect with her children and their families.

SUSAN POMEROY

Azalea Elementary, St. Petersburg

Grade/subject: Third Grade STARS, Students Targeted for Achievement, Recognition and Success.

Years at school: 21

Years teaching: 30

Has also taught at: Westgate and North Shore elementaries

Nominated by: Sue Boyd, principal

Why? "She does not just do the job; she inspires her students to become avid readers. ... Regardless of the level of performance walking into the door, the students in Ms. Pomeroy's class walk out promoted from third grade to fourth grade. Amazingly in the last four years, 100 percent of these entering students have passed third grade."

SANDRA ROSADO

Perkins Elementary, St. Petersburg

Grade/subject: Fourth- and fifth-grade Spanish

Years at school: 16

Years teaching: 20 years

Nominated by: Lillian Lewis and Elizabeth Rook, teachers

Why? "Sandra Rosado is a master at teaching Spanish ... she also integrates reading, writing, mathematics, health, geography and awareness of other cultures into her lessons and she does it with style. It is difficult to pass by her class and not stop to listen. Sandra Rosado's style is amazing and anything but typical. Her lessons involve dancing, singing, drama and technology at its finest. All students are motivated through her strategies, talents and charisma."

TRACY STALEY

Ponce de Leon Elementary, Seminole

Grade/subject: Fifth-grade science and writing

Years at school: Three

Years teaching: Four

Has also taught at: Sandy Lane Elementary, Clearwater

Nominated by: Cathy Santoro, teacher

Why? Tracy Staley's science and writing classroom is abuzz with activity. Students are busily texting their responses to questions about animal adaptations that they have just finished discussing with partners. ... Before this, the students had a hands-on lesson, searching for different colored beans outside and charting their success, learning firsthand how difficult it must be for a bird to find prey that is camouflaged. This high level of engagement isn't the exception in Mrs. Staley's fifth-grade science and writing classes, it's the norm.

You can help choose a fan favorite

Vote for your favorite among the six finalists for Outstanding Educator of the Year at pinellaseducation.org and click on "Meet the 2010/2011 Outstanding Educator Finalists. Voting ends Feb. 15.

Pinellas' Outstanding Educator of the Year 2010-11 finalists 12/04/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 4, 2010 3:31am]
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