An elementary school art teacher who believes there is creativity inevery child was named Pinellas County's Teacher of the Year for 1990 on Tuesday.
Susan S. Froemming, 36, said the 650 pupils she teaches at Woodlawn and North Ward elementary schools in St. Petersburg learn more than drawing and painting in her classes.
"I really try to instill in them that they are all unique creatures and all worthwhile," Froemming said. She said she knows that some of the children she teaches are "dealing with a lot of emotional problems. It comes out in their art work."
Children's emotions are revealed in the "way they draw themselves, in how big they draw themselves," Froemming said.
She said she also pays close attention to the way children portray their families in their drawings. And when they mess up their papers, she tells them it's all right and lets them start over.
She said one of her goals this year "is to listen more. Teachers talk all the time. We never stop and let the children speak."
After classroom visits and interviews, Froemming was chosen from 10 finalists for the honor. She received the award at a luncheon at the Showboat Dinner Theater on Ulmerton Road west of Feather Sound.
The first Pinellas Teacher of the Year award was given in 1982.
This year's winner received $2,000 from Equicor Health Plan of Florida. The nine finalists received $1,000 each. Ten semi-finalists received $200 apiece. The contest "is a way to show teachers that they're held in high esteem," said School Superintendent Scott Rose.
Froemming said she was surprised when her name was announced as the winner.
"I guess my first indication was to go 'Wow.' " The attention she has received since becoming a finalist has "helped show the children how special teachers are."
Froemming, who lives in Treasure Island, has been a Pinellas County teacher for nine years. Before that, she taught art in a school in a Milwaukee suburb.
She grew up in the central Wisconsin town of Neenah. Her parents, who attended Tuesday's luncheon, own a company in Neenah that builds circular and spiral staircases.
Her mother, Jean Stilp, said neighborhood children "were constantly putting on plays in our basement. Susan was constantly building the sets. She was more interested in the staging than the play."
Froemming said she wasn't a "great student in high school. But I graduated from college (the University of Wisconsin) with honors because I was able to do something I really enjoyed."
Nine other Pinellas teachers share the honor of being nominated for the teacher of the year award. They teach everything from kindergarten to home economics to reading, but share one trait: commitment.
JUDITH AMBLER, 47, of Palm Harbor has taught gifted students at Belcher Elementary in Clearwater since 1977 . . . M.A., University of South Florida . . . involves students in desk-top publishing and computer program writing . . . developed integrated reading and computer curriculum . . . chairman of the Florida Computer Teacher of the Year Committee in 1989 . . . received the state 1989 Prism Award of Excellence . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: helping to write the Florida Comprehensive Plan for Improving Mathematics, Science and
Computer Education . . . QUOTE: "Since information is doubling every 2 1/2 years, students also need to know how to manipulate these vast amounts of knowledge to find out what they need to know."
QUOTE: "Since information is doubling every 2 1/2 years, students also need to know how to manipulate these vast amounts of knowledge to find out what they need to know."
PEGGY CALHOUN, 42, of Largo, a home economics teacher at Seminole High School, has taught in Pinellas since 1969 . . . candidate for master's degree . . . Family Life Educator of the Year at Seminole High in 1989 . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: editor of the Directory of Services for the Family, a booklet of information about family life; developed curriculum for off-campus child-care program . . .
QUOTE: "I feel that it is my job as an educator to help guide students to their individual potential, not to society's expectations.
I do expect each to be motivated and challenged to grow and develop to become all that he is capable of becoming."
KAY DEEGAN, 49, of Treasure Island, a reading teacher at Lealman Comprehensive Middle School in St. Petersburg, has taught in Pinellas since 1969 . . . chairwoman of the Governmental Relations Committee, a member of the State Legislative Team and a member of the Congressional Contact Team . . . lobbyist for educational funding . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: legislative work with School Board members, the legislative delegation and state legislators in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. QUOTE: Students "are each gifted in his/her own way, for there are many kinds of intelligence."
JEANI FULLARD, 37, of Gulfport, a second-grade teacher at Lealman Avenue Elementary in St. Petersburg, has taught in Pinellas since 1985 and expects to receive a master's from University of South Florida in April . . . Teacher of the Year at Lealman last two years . . . wrote curriculum for Pinellas County Language Arts Department in 1989 . . . on the board of the Dolphin Group Home, a home for mentally handicapped young adults . . . has had educational material published in Mailbox Magazine, Pinellas County Math Works and Rainbow
Reflections . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: working with at-risk second-graders through an instructional program she developed . . .
QUOTE: "I hope that someday I may be that special teacher in a child's life . . . the teacher who made a difference."
CARLYN HALLIN, 49, of St. Petersburg, a reading/language arts teacher at Southern Oak Elementary in Largo, has been teaching in Pinellas since 1978 . . . master's degree from University of South Florida . . . 1989-90 recipient of Teach for Excellence mini-grant and Classroom Action Research Award from the Florida Reading Association . . . vice president of Pinellas County Reading Council . . . authored children's book, The Misfit Witch . . .
GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: representative to Pinellas County Reading and Language Arts CORE Committee, the major decision-making body for reading and language arts curriculum and textbook adoptions . . .
QUOTE: "Teachers with a gift for teaching are as concerned with how students learn as what students learn. When students I teach are not succeeding, I first attempt to isolate where I might be failing."
ELAINE KAY, 46, of Seminole, a reading and language arts teacher at Starkey Elementary in Seminole, has been teaching in Pinellas since 1973 . . . candidate for master's degree . . . received Associate Master Teacher certificate from Florida Board of Education . . . president of the Pinellas Reading Council . . . school volunteer chairman . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: an increase in the number of students reading for pleasure through the Recreational Reading Program . . .
QUOTE: "My educational philosophy is to promote literacy and a love of reading."
ROBERT POTH, 30, of Pinellas Park, a third-grade teacher, has been teaching at Tyrone Elementary in St. Petersburg since 1983 . . . master's degree from University of South Florida . . . chairman of the Economics Fair . . . Peer Teacher supervising beginning teachers;
Alternative Classroom Teaching Techniques Trainer; Florida Performance Measurement System Training Leader . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: personal development and application of effective teaching techniques . . .
QUOTE: "Learning experiences should be relevant, rich activities for the child with many hands-on experiences. Subject matter needs to be integrated and not taught in isolation."
LINDA SCHWARTZKOPT, 42, of Seminole, has been a guidance counselor at
Walsingham Elementary in Largo since 1982 . . . master's degree . . . 1989-90 Seminole Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year . . . 1989 Elementary Family Life Educator of the Year . . . elementary vice president for Florida School Counselor Association . . . has written programs for students and parents; co-authored books; produced slide/tape visual aides . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: serving on local and state organizational boards and being directly involved with writing standards, setting goals and implementing programs that affect and involve students, educators, parents and community . . .
QUOTE: "A key factor in effectively and positively educating students is to actively involve their parents and families and as many other resources as possible."
NANCY WEIFFENBACH, 45, of Seminole, a kindergarten teacher at North Ward Elementary in Clearwater, has taught in Pinellas County since 1977 . . . president-elect of the Pinellas County Kindergarten Teachers Association . . . secretary of the Pinellas Chapter of the Association for Childhood Education International . . . currently developing and implementing a math component for Pinellas kindergarten teachers . . . created Child Care Workshop for Clearwater and Countryside high school students . . . GREATEST CONTRIBUTION: being selected as a key trainer for all of Pinellas kindergarten teachers.
QUOTE: "Teaching is the art of uncovering and enhancing a student's