Deborah Jane Newman
Kentucky District Teacher of The Year
Mahaffey MS, 6th Grade English and Reading
Deborah Newman teaches sixth grade English and Reading at Mahaffey Middle School, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. She received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Specialist certification from Austin Peay State University. Deborah states, "I believe teaching is an art. It starts with a teacher who cares, a teacher who is committed to teaching, and who makes the daily effort to understand his/her students. This is the foundation of great teaching." Her superintendent says of her, "I have found the breadth and depth of her knowledge of her academic content area, her perceived role as teacher, and the skills and attitudes needed to motivate students to be unsurpassed."
Sherri O. McKendree
Georgia/Alabama District Teacher of The Year
Loyd ES, PE
Sherri McKendree teaches physical education at Loyd Elementary School, Fort Benning, Georgia. She received her B.S. from Jacksonville State University, her Masters from the University of Alabama, and her Educational Specialist degree from Jacksonville State University. It is Sherri's belief "that learning does not happen in a vacuum, but extends beyond the classroom walls and the scheduled period throughout a lifetime. Outstanding teachers find every opportunity to integrate what they teach into other subject areas and into the real world so knowledge will be meaningful and permanent, not simply isolated and temporary." A fellow educator states, "Sherri's yearly program is a model for all physical education programs because it includes a plethora of activities which are designed to grab students' interests, motivate them to excel physically, and develop a desire for life-long physical fitness."
South Carolina/Fort Stewart District Teacher of The Year
Diamond ES, 2nd Grade
Susan DeLoach teaches second grade at Diamond Elementary School, Ft. Stewart, Georgia. She earned her B.S. in Education and completed post-graduate studies at Georgia Southern University. She writes, "All students excel in some area of education. Students deserve to know that they have something worthwhile to contribute to the classroom society. They deserve the chance to feel good in a classroom where the teacher teaches with a genuine affection for students." Her assistant principal writes, "A particular strength of Mrs. DeLoach is her ability to individualize instruction and provide an appropriate instructional program for every child in her classroom. Children in her classroom know they can learn, know they will learn, and know they are valued."
Nora E. Alman
New York/Virginia District Teacher of The Year
Quantico MHS, Social Studies
Nora Alman teaches sixth and eighth grade Social Studies at Quantico Middle/High School in Quantico, Virginia. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Bowie State University and her Master's in Educational Leadership from George Mason University."My personal philosophy of teaching and learning is that everyone, no matter what his/her present level of intellectual functioning, has the right and the ability to learn. As a teacher it is my job to make sure that my students have the right tools and a safe environment in which to learn." Nora's principal writes, "As a former instructional coach for the Quantico Program for Instructional Effectiveness, Nora proves that every day is an educational event of high energy and effective communication for all of her students. Her enthusiasm is contagious and the respect she shows to all her students is one tool she uses to move them through multiple perspectives of Social Studies curricula."
North Carolina District Teacher of The Year
Lejeune HS, PE
Debra Bryant teaches physical education at Lejeune High School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation was awarded to her from Jamestown College, North Dakota, and her M.A. in Exercise Sports Science from East Carolina University. She states, "Every child is unique and should have the opportunity to learn, to grow, to experiment, to be successful, to have fun and to be creative in a safe environment. I believe that the integration of physical education across the curriculum can complement other academic areas by helping kinesthetic learners participate more fully in the classroom." Her assistant principal writes, "She is an interesting and motivating teacher who sets the tone for her students to excel in learning. She strives to challenge them and incorporate real-life, authentic lessons daily."
Puerto Rico District/Cuba Teacher of The Year
Antilles MS, Math/Algebra
Steven LaSalle teaches seventh and eighth grade Mathematics/Algebra at Antilles Middle School, Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico. He received his B.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College, Master of Science in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College and certification in Integrating Technology and Education in the Classroom (ITEC) from the University of San Diego. In his application Steven writes, "My teaching philosophy is based on three things: showing how mathematics is used in the real world, providing a safe learning environment for all, and teaching students to be problem solvers. My teaching philosophy is designed to share my love of knowledge with students in a non-threatening environment." A fellow teacher writes, "Although he expects students to give their best, he has this unique ability to accommodate the needs of mixed-ability groups. He constantly assesses and uses a variety of strategies to meet the individual needs of his students. Mr. LaSalle promotes student inquiries and facilitates self-discovery."