Wayne County Schools names 'MODEL' educators
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 11, 2012 1:50 AM
These Wayne County teachers were recognized as 'MODEL' educators. Back row, from left: Scott Hardy, Jennifer Tyndall and Randi Fleming; middle row: Jennifer Heim, Pamela Andrews and Jaimee Weeks; front row: Robin Bryant and Linda Franks.
The first group of "MODEL Educators" in Wayne County Public Schools has been announced.
The district annually recognizes an individual teacher of the year at each school, then narrows the field down to one at the elementary, middle and high school level before naming its countywide representative.
MODEL Educators, a Wayne County-created initiative first announced in the fall, broadens the recognition of the best and brightest teachers throughout the school year, officials said.
The acronym for MODEL represents five areas -- Master educator, Obligation to a respectful learning environment, Demonstrates leadership, Effective instructor and Lifelong learner.
"Employees who regularly demonstrate these characteristics and educational practices can apply themselves or be nominated by their peers to become a MODEL educator," said Gail Herring, director of elementary education and special projects. "In addition, candidates are required to submit artifacts and classroom evidence that shows how they meet each of the criteria of a MODEL Educator."
Three review teams assess all applications and submissions, she said. Interviews are also conducted with potential candidates.
The effort has been in the works for three years, and is open to all grade levels and staffing areas.
"The whole purpose behind it was to recognize, we have a lot of educators -- counselors, social workers, any educator in our county that just goes above and beyond every day, besides that one Teacher of the Year," Mrs. Herring said. "They truly make a difference by what they do."
The first pool of honorees includes Pamela Andrews from Norwayne Middle; Robin Bryant of Greenwood Middle; Randi Fleming from Brogden Primary; Linda Franks from Rosewood High; Scott Hardy from Spring Creek High; Jennifer Heim from Meadow Lane Elementary; Jennifer Tyndall of Spring Creek High; and Jaimee Weeks from Rosewood Elementary.
Ms. Andrews teaches grades 6-8 physical education and health. She has worked in WCPS for 26 years. She was nominated for her structured and detailed instruction and ability to help students successfully master the skills being taught.
Mrs. Bryant, an eighth-grade math and science teacher, has spent 11 of her 16 years in education with WCPS and in 2007, was middle school teacher of the year for the district. She was nominated for this latest honor because of her ability to convey high expectations to students, peers and aspiring teachers.
A 26-year veteran educator, Ms. Franks teaches science. She was lauded for her dedication to be a lifelong learner and credited with an ability to adapt and incorporate new ideas and techniques into instruction.
Ms. Fleming, a first-grade teacher at Brogden Primary, uses "innovative strategies" to engage students in the classroom and increase student performance, officials said. She has worked in WCPS for four years.
Hardy, a social studies teacher for the past 13 years, was nominated for having a high level of passion and instructional competency. He was WCPS Teacher of the Year in 2011.
Mrs. Heim teaches a multiage class and has worked in the district for 12 years. She is credited with creating a learning atmosphere where students think outside the box and are encouraged to achieve their dreams.
Business education teacher Ms. Tyndall had already received several accolades over the six years she has been with WCPS. In 2010-11 she was named WCPS career and technical education teacher of the year, was one of 29 teachers in the state to implement the Microsoft IT Academy and then named Certiport North American Teacher of the Year. She is WCPS Teacher of the Year for 2012. She earned the MODEL Educator recognition because of her commitment to develop and teach a rigorous curriculum that gives students necessary skills to compete in a 21st Century workforce.
Ms. Weeks, a fourth-grade teacher for six of her eight years in the profession, was recognized for creating a classroom culture through the use of relevant and engaging activities that get students excited about learning.
Honorees were recognized at the recent school board meeting and received a plaque to display in their classroom.
Future recognitions will be done incrementally.
"Our goal is to do it three or four times a year but it's just going to depend on how many nominations we get, how many people apply," Mrs. Herring said. "I was amazed that we had such a wide range of ages, experiences. That shows that you don't have to have 26 or 30 years to be an outstanding educator in our county.
"Some of them have a masters degree, some have national board certification, but just because they don't doesn't mean that they're still not going above and beyond. They're still accomplishing the criteria for a model educator."