ABCTE Teacher of the Year, Pennsylvania, 2010
Lynn Parris, Language Arts Teacher
Lynn Parris has been named the ABCTE Teacher of the Year for Pennsylvania, 2010, by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE).
The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) is a non-profit organization that offers an innovative teacher preparation and certification program. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject and then prepare at their own pace — using online resources such as video workshops and refresher courses — for rigorous exams on Professional Teaching Knowledge and in their chosen subject area.
To date, ABCTE has issued nearly 2,500 teaching certifications. ABCTE certified teachers are considered highly qualified. Learn more about ABCTE certification at www.abcte.org or by calling 877-669-2228.
American Pioneer Award, 2009
Jane Ferris, Director of University Scholars
In April, the National Coalition for Public School Options (NCPSO) announced the American Pioneer of Teaching Award, which would recognize top performing elementary and secondary teachers who work in pioneering public schools, such as virtual, charter and magnet schools.
Students, parents, fellow teachers, friends and family members nominated hundreds of excellent teachers that are making a difference in their students’ education.
Once the finalists were selected and the votes were cast, the NCPSO was pleased to announce Jane Ferris of the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School as our American Pioneer Teacher of the Year.
Jane is known for reenactments of historical events, she is recognized by the student who nominated her for the ability to “make history come alive.” In a recent unit on the Great Depression, she fed her students an authentic 1930s soup kitchen lunch, and during a study of WWI, she created a “war zone” in her classroom to show how dangerous trench warfare really was.
VP Elect of Sports and Atheletics – PSAHPERD
Donna Dollard, Health, Safety, and Physical Education Teacher
PA Leadership Charter School congratulates Health, Safety and Physical Education teacher Donna Dollard on her recent appointment as Vice President Elect of Sports and Athletics of the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (PSAHPERD). Dollard, who has been teaching at PALCS for the past 2 years, feels “honored” to serve as the only cyber teacher, among her colleagues. She will be serving a three-year term.
The PSAHPERD is a membership organization dedicated to promoting healthy active lifestyles to all Pennsylvanians. Linda Woods Huber, Executive Director, is enthused to partner with Dollard as the association helps “students learn to set and achieve goals and discover that they can make a difference.” Dollard’s past with PSAHPERD predates her teaching career. Dollard elaborates, “PSAHPERD has meant so much to me as an undergraduate student and a young professional. When I was in college, I was named the Outstanding Future Professional of PSAHPERD, and went on to represent the organization at the district level at the Eastern District Association Convention in Rhode Island that year. To have the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much is a dream come true.”
Dr. James Hanak, CEO of PA Leadership, recognizes that like many of the teachers at PA Leadership, Dollard is truly exceptional. “If I was asked to describe Donna with two words, those words would be passion and leadership. We are so proud of Donna and all of her accomplishments. The position is well deserved; Donna always strives to go the extra mile for our students and I am confident she will serve PSAHPERD with the same enthusiasm and dedication.”
On her new role, Dollard states, “I truly believe that serving in this capacity will open doors for my students, and all 20,000+ students in cyber schools across the state of Pennsylvania. By drawing attention to the hard work my colleagues and I do every day to provide our students with a high caliber, authentic physical education experience in the cyber setting, we can work to collaborate and further improve upon the efforts already in place. I hope that I have the ability to reach beyond the bricks of our building and mold the future of Physical Education, sports, and athletics in the cyber setting.”
ACE Award – PA Coalition of Charter Schools
Dr. Karen Joseph, Science Teacher
We are proud to announce that Dr. Karen Joseph, who teaches Biology, Botany, Zoology and Human Anatomy and Physiology, has received the first annual Appreciating Charter Educators (ACE) Award from the PA Coalition of Charter Schools.
The award was given to four Pennsylvania teachers who exemplify the following criteria:
- Improves student achievement
- Uses innovative and creative instructional strategies
- Connects with and makes a difference in the lives of students
Students themselves were asked to nominate teachers who exemplified these traits, and we were flooded with personal stories of how Dr. Joseph impacted students’ lives.
A recurring simple statement showed that Dr. Joseph’s accomplishments are far from simple: “she helped me understand biology.” They frequently cited enjoyment of watching Dr. Joseph’s instructional videos, working on class projects (challenging though they were,) and, as one student said, “she has a way of making even tests fun!”
Students said that Dr. Joseph helped them with study skills in addition to sometimes difficult scientific theory and applications. Skills such as note-taking and organization have helped students’ stress levels stay low and their grades and comprehension ability go up.
It is clear from the students’ own words that many have been touched. Says one, “anyone can teach me the exact same lessons, but only she can make me want to learn these lessons and WANT to explore them on my own. … She is a great teacher, mentor, and friend, and she deserves this award more then anyone else I know.”
Citadel Heart of Learning Award, 2008
Erin Keefe, English Teacher
This award was created by Citadel and the Chester County Intermediate Unit to honor and celebrate the contribution teachers make to students, families and the community. Winners receive a custom glass trophy, cash awards, prizes and public recognition at the annual awards banquet. Citadel’s Heart of Learning Award is a nationally recognized, premier teaching award in Chester County to honor local teachers in the county. This award recognizes excellence in the classroom by honoring those teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of their students.
Erin Keefe was awarded the Citadel Heart of Learning Award during a special faculty and staff meeting today the PA Leadership Charter School’s West Chester Office. The award honors Erin’s contribution to students, families, and the community. Erin was nominated by students and staff. She is being recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of her students.
Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award, 2007
Lisa Quinn, Leadership Teacher
Lisa Quinn, teacher of the PALCS Leadership Program, was one of twelve educators honored at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC on the evening of Wednesday, June 6. The gala was to present the “2007 Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award,” created by Cable in the Classroom, the national education foundation of the US cable industry.
Quinn was honored for organizing the March 2007 Millennium Ambassadors Program trip of twenty-two 8th – 12th grade students to Panama, where they lived with, learned from and taught Ngobe Bugle Indians. For doing so, Quinn received the “Pushing the Envelope with Cable Technology and Programming” award, specifically for the use of broadband Internet connectivity connected to PALCS. Only two educators in the nation win this annual award.