Caloosa Belle

Hendry County has 21 High Impact teachers

Hats Away! (Jerri Lynn Merritt/Submitted photo)

Twenty one Hendry County teachers received notification from Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart that they are among educators in the state recognized for the impact they have on students in their classrooms.

The High Impact Teacher designation is based on an analysis of student achievement in these teachers’ classrooms for the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 school years.

“This recognition is indicative of the dedication that Hendry County teachers have for their profession, and their desire to see students succeed in their classrooms,” said Paul Puletti, Hendry County School Superintendent.

Teachers recognized include Keri Alford, currently dean at Central Elementary School; Adriana Alston, Clewiston Middle School; Kellie Beer, Upthegrove Elementary School; Charlene Bowen, Upthegrove Elementary School; Ericka Burke, LaBelle Middle School; Patricia Cutshaw, Westside Elementary School; Jessica Evans, Upthegrove Elementary School; Shauna Flock, LaBelle Elementary School; Denise Gibson, Eastside Elementary School; Wanda Hand, Central Elementary School; Cathleen Jesson, Central Elementary School; Sofia Kirstein, Westside Elementary School; Julie McGirt, LaBelle Middle School; Tammy Mitchell, Eastside Elementary School; Ana Paz, Upthegrove Elementary School; Maggie Pennington, Eastside Elementary School; Aurea Perrera, Clewiston Middle School; Tina Sargent, LaBelle Elementary School; Samuel Thomas, Clewiston Middle School; Kristen Walker, Country Oaks Elementary; and Vermell White, Clewiston Middle School.

The analysis of each teachers’ former students for the past three years is based on their performance on statewide standardized testing, for which a state level value-added model (VAM) score is calculated. VAM is one part of a teacher’s overall evaluation. To be a High Impact Teacher, VAM scores had to show that a teacher was High Effective for each of the preceding three years.

Charlene Bowen, fourth grade teacher at Upthegrove Elementary, had this to say about the recognition:

“To me its just a title. All teachers work really hard and put everything they have into their work. We work long hours, not just at school, but also when we get home. Our job follows us everywhere! When we are watching our children play sports, we are planning! When we are fixing supper, we are planning. When we are washing dishes, we are planning. When we are on social media, we are planning! When we are grading papers, we are planning. When we are sleeping, we are planning. A lot of work goes into everyday!

That being said, I feel my achievement is due to just that! Our fourth grade team at Upthegrove Elementary works really hard together on lessons that are enriching and fun for our students. Entertainment plays a big part in teaching! If your students are engaged, they are learning! The more interactive your lessons are, the more interactive your students will be!

Most importantly, parental Involvement plays a key role in our student’s success. My student’s parents from last year were very concerned and active in their children’s learning. They made sure their children came to school everyday and tried really hard to keep from checking them out. If you miss one day of common core, you have missed a week! If the students don’t come to school, we can’t teach them!”

High Impact Teachers in Florida were chosen from teachers who taught any of the following grades or subjects: Reading (grades 4-10), Mathematics (grades 4-8); and Algebra 1 (grades 8- 9).