06/11/12 — WCPS honors newest class of MODEL teacher honorees

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WCPS honors newest class of MODEL teacher honorees

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 11, 2012 1:46 PM

Five teachers from Wayne County Public Schools have been named MODEL Educators.

MODEL, an acronym that targets five areas -- master educator, obligation to a respectful learning environment, demonstrates leadership, effective instructor and lifelong learner -- was introduced in the fall as an additional way of recognizing exemplary educators.

The district already annually recognizes a "Teacher of the Year" at each individual school, then narrows down the field to the elementary, middle and high school levels before naming a district-wide recipient.

The first group of MODEL Educators was announced in March, when eight recipients were recognized at the school board meeting.

Gail Herring, director of elementary education and special programs, said the goal is to make similar recognitions throughout the year, depending upon how many nominations are received or applications made for the honor.

The district boasts a wide variety of candidates, she said, from educational backgrounds and ages to experience. Plus, she added, recipients are not limited to classroom teachers only. The recognition is also open to all staffing areas and grade levels.

The latest group was recognized at the Board of Education meeting. Each honoree received a plaque, which can be displayed in their classroom.

The award winners include Emily Ardis, an eighth-grade science and social studies teacher at Norwayne Middle School.

"She is a first-year teacher. However, that is not evident based on her poise, organization and classroom management," Mrs. Herring said. "She displays the highest level of enthusiasm toward the faculty, students, parents and community members."

Paul Bryan, eighth-grade science teacher at Eastern Wayne Middle School, has 19 years experience in the profession. A previous Teacher of the Year at both EWM and while at Rosewood Middle, he has served in many leadership roles wherever he has taught.

Dominique deVarona, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Mount Olive Middle, just completed her fourth year in the field.

"She was nominated because her classroom environment empowers students to collaborate with each other and work together in cooperative learning teams," Mrs. Herring said. "She expects students to be respectful of her classroom and they are quite knowledgeable of these expectations."

Susan Long, who teaches kindergarten at Grantham School, was also credited with creating a positive learning atmosphere for her students.

"Ms. Long's classroom is a place where children are focused, engaged, excited about learning, working with cooperative learning groups, receiving direct instruction, exposed to technology and provided strategic intervention daily," Mrs. Herring said.

Another educator from Mount Olive Middle School rounds out the list. Cynthia Smith is in her third year there, teaching business education.

Mrs. Herring said Mrs. Smith's nomination was based on having an enthusiasm about the curriculum and the ability to create opportunities for students that will later serve them in the work force.