NEW YORK, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, today announced the winners of the 2012 READ 180® and System 44® Outstanding Educator Awards. The 6th annual "Outstanding Educator" award is presented to four teachers who have helped struggling students turn their lives around and change the trajectory of their progress in school by learning to read in READ 180 or System 44 classrooms. This year's winners have gone above and beyond to ensure struggling students become life long readers and succeed across all subject areas.
"At Scholastic we believe strongly in the important role that teachers play in the life of a child, and we see how hard they work to improve student achievement and meet high expectations," said Margery Mayer, President, Scholastic Education, a division of Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL). "This year's Outstanding Educators are an excellent example of how teachers are the catalyst to student success -- especially for kids who have fallen behind and face the daunting challenge of striving to succeed without adequate reading skills."
The Outstanding Educator Award winners were chosen by a Scholastic selection committee that reviews hundreds of nominations. Each nomination includes documentation of reading growth as well as statements about the educator by a nominating colleague, and a student, detailing the impact the educator has had on his or her life.
READ 180 is a comprehensive system of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development that helps schools raise reading achievement for struggling readers in grades 4–12 and prepare them for college and career. System 44 is a breakthrough foundational reading and phonics intervention technology program for the most challenged students in grades 3–12+.
The 2012 READ 180 Outstanding Educators are:
Janelle MacLean –Alonso High School, Tampa FL
It's telling that, even after Janelle MacLean's READ 180 students completed the program and moved on to regular language arts classes, they came back wanting more of the program. Many of the students in her ninth-grade class last year entered reading two to four years below grade level. Within a year, many of them made multiple years worth of gains in their reading ability. But when some of her former students told her they wished they could be in her class again, Ms. MacLean created "Club 180," an after school program for tenth graders who still wanted to be part of the READ 180 environment. Of the 48 past READ 180 students she invited, 40 formerly reluctant readers returned! The students who voluntarily joined the READ 180 extension class, continued to improve their reading skills under Ms. MacLean's guidance and support. The tenth grade students, many of whom entered ninth grade never having read a book, now mentor current READ 180 students.
"If it wasn't for Ms. MacLean then I still wouldn't know what I wanted to do in life," one of her former ninth grade students wrote. "She has motivated me to graduate from high school, go to college, and start a life people have dreamed of."
Karen Settles – Oscar Smith Middle School, Chesapeake, VA
With five years experience teaching READ 180, Ms. Settles' passion is helping struggling, students to catch up. A mentor for her colleagues, she is motivated to help every student who walks through her classroom door. She has set the bar high for her fellow teachers. In all, an incredible 80 percent of her students gained at least one year's growth in reading by March, helping them catch up with their peers. In addition to READ 180, Ms. Settles sponsors a mentoring program for girls called DIVAS (Determined Involved Volunteering Aspiring Students). Through DIVAS, she counsels eighth grade girls on issues such as manners, fitness, overall wellness, study skills, bullying, and how to deal with negative influences in their lives.
"I am privileged to work daily with students who are delayed and failed readers, have learning disabilities, are labeled Special Ed, are English Language Learners, or who may not have passed the Virginia Standards of Learning assessments," she said. "To some this may be a challenge, but with the assistance of the READ 180 program, it is a dream career."
Maria Richard – North Street Elementary School, New Iberia, LA
During her 13 years teaching, Ms. Richard has taught students with a wide range of disabilities, including teaching students with autism for the last two years. Within just a few weeks with her fourth through sixth grade students this year, they had improved in their grades and attendance – and just as importantly for these vulnerable children, had greater confidence and self-esteem. This is all part of her "plan to change the world," she says. "My students now have a chance to overcome their adversities and rise above to bigger and brighter futures."
First introduced to the READ 180 program in 2002 as a high school teacher, Ms. Richard knew the impact READ 180 could have on at-risk students and, in fact, one of her students, Jose Garcia, was honored as a READ 180 All-Star in 2004. Legally blind, Jose had never been enrolled in school in his native Mexico and arrived in the U.S. at age 10 far behind his peers. With the help of Ms. Richard's instruction and the READ 180 program, Jose ended the school year with a full two years growth in reading level. Jose's success and that of her other high school students caused Ms. Richards to campaign to get READ 180 for the elementary students she teaches now.
"READ 180 has changed the lives of every student that has walked through my door. It has given them the ability to achieve, and participate in their other classes with their peers without embarrassment," she wrote.
The 2012 System 44 Outstanding Educator is:
Amy Morinville – Floyd Light Middle School, Portland OR
Amy Morinville is relentless in her determination to see that her struggling students succeed. A System 44 teacher for three years at a school populated by many students from low-income families, Ms. Morinville holds one-on-one feedback sessions with each student to talk about his or her progress and encourages her students to celebrate even small gains in their reading abilities. In her class, students get a sense of accomplishment and control over their learning. At the end of each semester, she holds a Celebration Night, where students come with their families to be recognized for their accomplishments. She serves dinner and gives awards for growth in Lexile-levels, number of books read, and for students who have "graduated" out of System 44. For students who have experienced mostly failure in the past, seeing evidence of their success motivates them to work even harder toward their goals. Many of her students improved multiple grade levels in their reading skills, accelerating so fast that they were able to move out of System 44 and into the school's READ 180 program.
"Apathy, lack of confidence, and a pattern of failure are some of the issues my students face. Nearly all the students find success in System 44 because of high expectations for academics and behavior," Ms. Morinville said. "Turning a life around is a long process, and a task I'm happy to be involved in."
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SOURCE Scholastic Inc.