From coaching students in vital literacy knowledge to preparing them for real-world success with training in 21st century skills, five standout teachers are finalists for the Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Teacher of the Year.
Three elementary school teachers and two high school teachers, with more than 80 years combined classroom experience, are vying for the coveted award. The BCPS Teacher of the Year will be named at the 2018 Caliber Awards Ceremony, recognizing the District’s outstanding teachers, principals, assistant principals and school-related/District employees. The ceremony takes place on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
Congratulations to BCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists:
Stacey J. Brown, Pompano Beach Elementary School
Stacey Brown, a 25-year veteran teacher, serves as a school leader – coaching, mentoring and supporting classroom teachers in literacy and mathematics. “If I could share one message with all teachers, it would be ‘it’s not the product, it’s the process,’ ” said Brown. “Education is not about the program the teacher buys, it’s about the process and knowledge the teacher develops.” Principal Marisa Fishlock praised Brown as “a one-of-a-kind, talented, dedicated educator with a passion for literacy and children.”
Diana Escobar, Coral Cove Elementary School
Diana Escobar, a 19-year teaching veteran, serves as the literacy coach at Coral Cove Elementary School. “By changing the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” said Escobar. “By keeping up with change, I’ve been able to find the positive in the negative to motivate and shape the future of tomorrow, so they, too, can find the positive in the negative.” Principal Stephanie Saban calls Escobar “a master educator and a consummate professional. She is an integral and brilliant part of Coral Cove Elementary School’s success.”
Tammy Freeman, Monarch High School
Tammy Freeman has spent all of her 10 years as an educator at Monarch High School, where she is currently a language arts instructor. “Instead of giving my students the answers and having them become dependent on me for providing the answers each time, I choose to empower them by teaching them the process, which will help them to become better thinkers and learners throughout their lifetime,” said Freeman. “Ms. Freeman is sincere, loyal, dedicated and willing to work at any task she is assigned, which positively affects her performance working with all stakeholders,” said Principal James Neer. “She is a tremendous asset to Monarch High.”
Helen Kassim, Sunland Park Academy
Helen Kassim has been teaching for seven years, and is currently a first grade reading resource instructor at Sunland Park Academy. “Teaching is a craft and a gift. It provides opportunities to develop the minds of others and to help them reach their full potential,” said Kassim. Principal Sharonda Bailey said, “Ms. Kassim provides fresh insight to any area of concern, as well as offers new ideas to improve instruction and school operation processes. She maintains a pleasant demeanor and positive attitude.”
Frank Pizzo, Deerfield Beach High School
Frank Pizzo has spent the last 17 of his 20 years in education at Deerfield Beach High School, where he is the lead teacher in the Academy of Finance. “Teaching is un-equivalently the very best occupation anyone could ever have – ‘I’m a teacher, what is your superpower?’ No other occupation in the world can make such an impact in someone else’s life,” said Pizzo. “Mr. Pizzo has worked diligently in his classes and has been a good role model for our students,” said Principal Jon Marlow. “He has always gone above and beyond in all of his responsibilities.”
The Caliber Awards presenting sponsor is BrightStar Credit Union. Also supporting the Caliber Awards are: platinum sponsors Aetna, Bank of America and Nova Southeastern University – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education; silver sponsors After School Programs, Inc. (ASP), Broward Principals’ and Assistants’ Association (BPAA), Office Depot, Pearson, PNC Bank and Sunshine Child Programs; and bronze sponsors CEI Staffing, Herff Jones,
Schoolfundraising4kids, Spectrum Tours and The Corradino Group.
Special thanks to the Broward Education Foundation and Toyota of North Miami for providing a 2018 Toyota Camry SE to the 2018 Caliber Awards Teacher of the Year.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.