Georgia / Alabama District Teacher of The Year
Robins ES, Special Education
Kathy Robinson is currently teaching Special Education students, Grades 1-4, at Robins Elementary School, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. She received her Master's Degree and Education Specialist credentials in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University. Kathy believes there is no greater reward than to watch a child develop from a non-reader into an independent reader who truly enjoys reading. To reap this reward, however, teachers must have a positive, supportive and empathetic mindset. "And so it is that the teacher who makes kindness an integral part of the lesson plan leaves the world forever changed."
Puerto Rico District Teacher of The Year
Roosevelt Roads HS, English
Donato Cuadrado teaches English 9-12 at Roosevelt Roads High School, Puerto Rico. He has taught all 12 grades during his 15-year teaching career. He holds a Master's Degree in English from the University of Puerto Rico and is currentlyin the process of completing his Doctorate in Education from the InterAmerican university of Puerto Rico. Donato believes his greatest teaching accomplishment in his ability to reach those student whom many believe are unreachable, by discovering their a "hidden intelligence or multiple intelligences." He provides an opportunity for all students to "shine" in his classroom.
Mira L. Moehrke
NC-Camp Lejeune District Teacher of The Year
Tarawa Terrace II ES, Special Education
Mira Moehrke received her Master of Education in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from George Mason University in 1991 and her K-6 certification from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington in 1998. During her 19 years in education, she has taught home economics, vocational disadvantaged/handicapped students, preschool, learning disabled students, and, most recently, kindergarten at Tarawa Terrace II Elementary School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She believes her passion for understanding the whole child as a learner and for sharing the concept of learning styles with others is her foundation as a teacher. Mira observes that the wisdom of children in the ways in which they perceive their world, and "lacing together learning and laughter" are great rewards of her work.
Earnestine Abron Ezekiel
Georgia / Alabama District Teacher of The Year
Dexter ES, Kindergarten
Earnestine Ezekiel has taught Kindergarten at Dexter Elementary School, Fort Benning, Georgia since 1967. She received her Education Specialist credentials in Early Childhood Education from Troy State University in 1986. Earnestine is a strong proponent of environmental education and humanitarianism, as evidenced in her class environmental club and vegetable garden that feeds the homeless. She feels learning is most effective when the learner is actively involved in the learning process, and skills are presented in such a way that the learner is encouraged to discover information through hands-on activities, imperative for young learners.
NC-Fort Bragg District Teacher of The Year
Irwin MS, 5th Grade
Valerie Krum, a fifth grade teacher at Irwin Middle School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in 1990. She believes that teaching is not just a job, but an avenue to influence children's paths in exploring and learning about the world around them. Valerie states, "It's not enough to just believe that all children can learn. It is my goal as an educator to guide all children at all levels to want to learn." Valerie acts as a team with parents with this common goal and communicates through weekly parent newsletters, daily homework sheets, phone calls, e-mails, conferences and a volunteer program. She feels that her responsibility as an educator is to act as someone who opens a door for children to discover a world they can feel confident to explore.
Claudia R. Castenir
Kentucky District Teacher of The Year
Fort Knox Community Schools, Reading Recovery Leader
Presently, Claudia Castenir is in training as a Reading Recovery teacher leader for the Fort Knox Community Schools. She has served as a Reading Recovery teacher and a teacher of primary students with emotional and behavioral disorders during her 21-year teaching career. Claudia feels that a sign of a good teacher is a continual evolving philosophy of education. She states, "We cannot afford, if our goal is to provide the best education possible for our students, to ignore current research and maintain a static philosophy of teaching about the way students learn."
Kathryn Marie Sheets
SC/Ft. Stewart/Cuba District Teacher of The Year
Diamond ES, Math Resource
Kathryn Marie Sheets is currently a math resource teacher for grades 1-3 at Diamond Elementary School, Fort Stewart, Georgia. She received her Education Specialist credentials in Middle Grades in 1991 from Georgia Southern University. Kathryn believes that respect is an essential trait that should be incorporated into ones personal teaching style. She expects her students to listen to one another, using only constructive terms and to treat everyone in the classroom, as they would like to be treated. Kathryn serves as a role model by listening to her students when they have something to say, as she requires them to listen to her when she is giving instructions. She states, "If I expect them to give me their complete attention when I am instructing, I feel they deserve my full attention when they are speaking to me."
Linda G. Serrano
Guam District Teacher of The Year
Guam South E/MS, Language Arts and Reading
Linda Serrano has taught language arts and reading for 11 years, the last four being at Guam South Elementary/Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, English Literature from the University of Guam. Linda believes that because of the incidents at Columbine and the violence at other schools in recent times, we need to make students aware that their words and actions can effect their peers in horrific ways. She states, "We need to treat youngsters as sentient individuals on a journey through life, serving as mentors who are not afraid to tell them when they are not on the right path and help them get back on it."
New York / Virginia District Teacher of The Year
West Point ES, PE
Joanne Woodworth has been a physical education teacher at West Point Elementary School for the last 9 of her 14 years of teaching. She received her Master's Degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1985. The National Standards for Physical Education guide her planning, with each lesson having a targeted outcome that she works to access in an authentic manner. "Teaching through the medium of movement allows me to have an impact on how children think and feel about themselves and the world around them."
Jo Ann M. Hudson
South Carolina District Teacher of The Year
Hood Street ES, 2nd & 3rd Grades
Jo Ann Hudson currently teaches second and third grade at Hood Street Elementary School, Columbia (Fort Jackson), South Carolina. During her 27-year career in elementary education, she feels her major contributions to her profession include mentoring student teachers and working with America 2000 through a project grant that funded the purchase of quality children's literature for youngsters to read at home. Jo Ann feels a wise teacher knows she will need the support of the entire community to be effective. "It takes everyone, the principal, the secretary, our custodians, the school nurse and our community, to educate a child." Jo Ann believes that establishing an early rapport with her students and their parents is an important facet of being an outstanding educator.