Six finalists vie for Broward County public schools teacher of the year

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) has announced six exemplary teachers as finalists for Teacher of the Year.

Two elementary school teachers, one middle school teacher, two high school teachers and one education center teacher round out the six finalists vying for the coveted 2018 Teacher of the Year award.

The finalists are:

Deborah Alexander, Kindergarten, Pembroke Pines Elementary School.

Deborah Alexander“Going to work every day, loving what you do, having the ability to impact a child’s life in a positive way, and making a lasting impression is reason enough to teach,” said Deborah Alexander. A dynamic, resourceful and dedicated professional educator for more than 27 years, Alexander is actively involved in all areas of education at her school, including curriculum development, team collaboration and working with parents and administration. She is a caring teacher who values her relationship with each student. Her mantra is “Let’s make a change one child at a time.”

Kristin Baltazar, 7th – 12th Grade, Henry D. Perry Education Center.

Kristin Baltazar“My ability to reach students in a non-traditional educational setting is what sets me apart from others,” said Kristin Baltazar, who understands and utilizes the challenges of her students to motivate them to achieve their highest potential. Baltazar is a staunch advocate for alternative education and inspires her students to find their own version of success in a non-traditional environment. She is a talented and skilled educational leader with 12 years of experience in motivating learners and positively influencing students and her peers.

Pamela Griffin, 9th – 12th Grade, Monarch High School

Pamela Griffin“I teach for the same reason I coach – I love the journey to the win,” said Pamela Griffin, Fitness/Wellness department chair at her school. Griffin has an unrelenting passion for inspiring students to fulfill their career aspirations. Under her leadership, reading is incorporated into all activities and health classes. She also integrated study skills, reading strategies and note taking into these classes to provide a holistic learning experience for the students. Principal James Neer lauds her unique teaching techniques and strategies for motivating and providing students with a rich educational experience.

Eleanna Hurst, 3rd Grade, Collins Elementary School.

Eleanna Hurst “Sometimes I’m the only person that may encourage students to become anything that they want to become,” said Eleanna Hurst. “Teaching offers the opportunity to be that spark to so many students.” As a third generation educator, Hurst’s says her mission is to develop well-rounded problem-solvers and critical thinkers. “Hurst is a phenomenal teacher and a tremendous asset to our school,” says her principal, Dr. Tracy Jackson.

Michele Matias, 8th Grade, Crystal Lake Middle School

Michele Matias“As an educator, I am inspired by many facets of education and try my best to mold my inspirations into teachable moments,” says Michele Matias. One of five pilot Global Scholar teachers in Broward County Public Schools, Matias engages her students in international collaborative classrooms. She provides hands-on experiences in student-centered educational projects, motivates her students to meet academic goals, and partners with colleagues to deliver programs that enhance student support services. Matias incorporates community, national and global awareness of scientific issues into her classroom lessons.

Jeffrey Rose, 9th – 12th Grade, Cypress Bay High School As an Advanced Placement and honors science teacher, Jeffrey Rose sets high standards and expectations for his students, who meet or exceed them again and again.

Jeffrey Rose“The kids want you to believe in them, as much as you want them to believe in you,” said Rose. He enjoys talking about science, describing it as one of his favorite things to do, aiming to inspire others to love the subject. “The best word to describe Jeffrey Rose is dedication,” says Principal Charles Scott Neely. “He always feels he can do better for his students.”

BCPS 2018 Teacher of the Year is announced at the annual Caliber Awards, which recognizes all teachers nominated by their schools as Teacher of the Year, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The Caliber Awards presenting and title sponsor is BrightStar Credit Union. Also supporting the Caliber Awards are platinum sponsor Bank of America; silver sponsors After School Programs and Sunshine Child Programs; and bronze sponsors Broward Principals’ and Assistants’ Association and Herff Jones.


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