NBCT Directory

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

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Biographical Info

Mary Lou Andrews was certified in AYA Mathematics in 1999 and recertified in 2009. She received her BS in Math from the University of Tampa and MEd in Math Education from the University of South Florida. Mary Lou taught at Brandon High School for 19 years, and has been at Armwood High School since 2003, where she has held the position of Math Dept head since 2004. She has served as a trainer in the district and through CTA, mentored NB candidates since being certified in 1999, and currently serves on the NBCT Superintendent Advisory Council.

Categories: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Designing Coherent Instruction (1E), Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Procedures & Routines, Reflecting on Teaching (4A)
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Ms. Apgar has been teaching in Hillsborough County for 22 years-all 22 years at Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy (formerly Middleton Middle School and Ferrell Middle School). She earned National Board Certification in 2005, scored for National Boards for the two summers that followed, and renewed certification in 2014. Ms. Apgar holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education, as well as a Master of Instructional Technology degree from the University of South Florida. Ms. Apgar is certified in Math 6 – 12 and Middle Grades Math 5 – 9, and also has her Gifted Endorsement. Along the years, Ms. Apgar has helped write and implement Geometry content training through the ACE and Promise grants, and helped write various mathematics curricula for the last two summers.

Categories: Classroom Management, Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources & Technology (1D), Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Instructional Technology, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Managing Student Behavior (2D), Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Model Classroom, Middle, Technology Training
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The saying, “you never know where life takes you!” is a reflection of Lisa’s teaching career. Her teaching experience spans from Kindergarten to Middle School. In addition to teaching, Lisa’s out-of-the-box thinking and love for math guided her toward becoming an author. To date, she has written and published 18 children’s math books and looks forward to writing more. Currently, Lisa teaches 4th and 5th grade science and math.

Categories: Behavior Management, Classroom Community, Classroom Design, Classroom Environment, Classroom Space, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Managing Student Behavior (2D), Model Classroom, Elementary, Organizing Physical Space (2E), Procedures & Routines, Service Learning, Technology
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Sherry worked in Hillsborough County Public Schools as a School Counselor for 11 years and for the last four years has served as a School Counselor Peer Evaluator. Sherry earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee and her Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. She holds a Professional Educator’s Certificate in Guidance and Counseling. In addition to being a National Board Certified Teacher, Sherry is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. In 1999, Sherry received both the Hillsborough County Public Schools Area IV Parent/Family Involvement Award and the Florida Department of Education Parent/Family Involvement Award. In 2005, Sherry was recognized as the Hillsborough Counseling Association Middle School Counselor of the Year and the Florida School Counselor Association Middle School Counselor of the Year.

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Categories: BYOD, Classroom Community, Cooperative Learning, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Designing Coherent Instruction (1E), Designing Student Assessments (1F), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Reflecting on Teaching (4A), Using Questioning & Discussion Techniques (3B)
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Brandi Bronleben has spent over a decade in teaching and has taught 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and AP Language and Composition. She has taught at H.W. Blake and is currently teaching at R.C. Spoto. Recently, she completed her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction at the University of West Florida.

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Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida in 1996. She became National Board Certified in 2008 and is ESOL endorsed. She has a wide range of expertise in a variety of elementary grade levels, as well as experience teaching ESE inclusion and fuse classrooms. Throughout her career, Shannon involved herself in many leadership roles. She has been team leader at a variety of levels, and has written and received various grants to help increase student achievement. She has served as a Preparing New Educators mentor; and has hosted many interns with her Clinical Educators Training. She has assisted on the School Advisory Council and has been the CTA rep for her school site. Shannon was also the facilitator for The Daily Five book study at her site, and attends numerous professional development trainings throughout the district to ensure she is kept current in all areas she observes.

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Since 1998, Kristine Claffie has been an educator for Hillsborough County Public Schools. Since 2004 she has continually held National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood/Generalist. Kristine continued her growth as a University of South Florida student and in 2007 earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She has served as the primary Math and Reading Contact, facilitated faculty-wide trainings, been elected grade level chair and sponsored many academic clubs. In addition she has mentored multiple National Board candidates, colleagues and level III interns. In 2009, Kristine co-created a published Writing Skills game and was selected as Colleen Bevis Elementary’s S.H.A.P.E.S Mathematics Teacher of the Year for 2014.

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Mary Comunale was initially certified in 2001 as an Early Childhood Generalist and renewed her certificate in 2011. She has over 10 years teaching experience from Broward County Public Schools and the last nine years she has taught at Buckhorn Elementary School in Hillsborough County. She has taught all elementary grade levels with most experience at the primary level. She is also ESE certified and has 4 years of experience teaching as a resource teacher as well as in a co-teach setting.

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Ms. Cook certified in 1999 and renewed through 2019. She has taught since 1991 and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year three times. In addition to her Elementary certification, she is also certified to teach Specific Learning Disabilities, K-12, and ESOL. Over the years, she has taught many classes for National Board candidates, mentored many candidates, and continues to support the goals of National Board. Ms. Cook is the Secretary/Treasurer for the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association and is the Chair for the Hillsborough NBCT Council Network.

Categories: Character, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Managing Student Behavior (2D), Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Reflecting on Teaching (4A)
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Tina Cook is a graduate of Saint Leo University. She began her teaching career in Inverness, Florida at Inverness Primary. She then moved to Hillsborough County and has taught at Mintz Elementary, Symmes Elementary and is currently a Science Resource Teacher at Burney Elementary in Plant City. She has been a Title Reading Teacher, and has taught every grade level except Kindergarten. She fell in love with teaching science in the classroom. Based on her love for science, she decided to challenge herself professionally and become a Science Resource Teacher. She now teaches, plans and models and coaches in science all day. The philosophy “You can’t reach a child’s mind until you have reached their heart” still continues to push her to teach every day and give her best.

Categories: Bulletin Boards, Character, Classroom Community, Classroom Management, Elementary Science, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Mentoring Students, Procedures & Routines
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Sandra Cooke is currently a Business Technology teacher at Middleton High School, and previously taught at D. W. Waters Career Center. She is a product of Hillsborough County Schools (East Bay graduate) and a graduate of the University of South Florida. Initially certified in 2001, Sandra has successfully renewed her NBCT credentials. She is an Ida S. Baker Educator of the Year recipient, America’s Promise Ambassador, Microsoft Office Specialist, FBLA Adviser, and PLC Facilitator. Throughout her 36 years as an educator, she has held several school-level leadership roles, facilitated district professional development workshops, and mentored many teachers. Sandra’s philosophy is to help students acquire those critical thinking and career skills that lead to their ability to become productive, self-sufficient citizens and to lend support to whomever she can.

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This is Lauren’s 12th year in education. She has taught grades 2-5 in elementary and has extensive experience in teaching ELL and ESE students as both a self-contained and departmentalized teacher at a Title 1/Renaissance School. Currently she is in her first year as district Elementary Peer Evaluator. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education K-6 from the University of Arizona and has her English Language Learners Endorsement. In 2009, Lauren received her National Board Certification in Middle Childhood Education. That same year, she was honored to be nominated as her school site’s Teacher of the Year. Throughout her career, Lauren has involved herself in various school and district level leadership roles including training her site’s faculty in Professional Study Days in the areas of Reading/Social Studies and Science. She served as her site’s SAC Chair and Co-Chair for four years and assisted in presenting her site’s School Improvement Plan and data analysis. For the past two years, Lauren served as one of her school site’s Science Contacts and has facilitated team and vertical PLCs in Science Literacy Design Collaboratives (LDCs). In 2013, she was a part of the district’s Elementary CCSS Reading Task Force, where reading coaches and selected teachers collaborated to create lessons and performance tasks for our district’s English Language Arts curriculum. Lauren has recently mentored new teachers.

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Tammy’s eleven-year teaching career began in Hillsborough County, where she has taught exclusively in Title 1 schools. She is currently the chemistry instructor for the International Baccalaureate program at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fl. During her time in the classroom, she has taught a variety of high school science curriculums, 9th -12th grade.

She began her post-secondary education at the University of Connecticut, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from University of South Florida in 2002, and in 2011 a Master’s of Science in Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Integrating Technology in the K-12 Classroom, from Walden University. She earned National Board Certification for adolescent/young adulthood science in 2013.

She was recognized as the Science Teacher of Excellence, at Middleton High School by her peers in 2008 and 2007. Her biography is listed in the 2005 – 2006 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

She stays up to date in her field through memberships with the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), American Chemical Society (ACS), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and the National Association of Science Teachers (NSTA).

In addition to her work in the classroom, She has served her profession at the school and district levels, and in the educational private sector. She is currently the secretary of the Hillsborough High School Instructional Leadership Team and has represented her colleagues as their Empowering Effective Teachers (EET) liaison. She has served on district textbook selection committees and has developed district exams and reviews. In 2013, she became a Master Trainer for Hillsborough County Public Schools. Each summer she works as a facilitator with a group of other experienced Science teachers in the school district to present a one-week orientation to prepare newly hired science teachers for their classroom experience. For three consecutive summers prior to earning certification, she was employed by NCS Pearson, Inc. as a scorer of National Board candidate portfolio entries and assessment center responses. She developed content and facilitated online teacher learning communities with CTechEd. She has also served as a content reviewer for Dubuque: McGraw-Hill’s textbook titled Chemistry in Context: Applying Chemistry to Society (8th ed.). by C. Middlecamp, published in 2013.

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Pamela Czekaj graduated from Michigan State University. She has been teaching in the Hillsborough County School District for 9 years. She is currently teaching at Kenly Elementary School as the Academic Intervention Specialist. Her previous teaching experiences were in First Grade at Cleveland Elementary School (1 yr) and Foster Elementary School (7 yrs). Her professional accomplishments include: 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year nomination, 2011 National Board Certification, and 2014-2015 Ida S. Baker nomination.

Categories: Bulletin Boards, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Classroom Space, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Flexibility & Responsiveness (3E), Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Mentoring Teachers, Procedures & Routines, Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Reflecting on Teaching (4A), Using Assessment in Instruction (3D)
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Christine Danger, K-12 STEM Coordinator for Hillsborough County Public Schools, has been teaching in Hillsborough County for 13 years. Christine earned her master’s degree in Education Leadership from Saint Leo in 2011. She has been a district trainer for elementary science for the past 6 years. She served as a science resource teacher at Robles Elementary for 6 years and as a STEM resource teacher at Turner/Bartels K-8 for two years. Christine was the PRISM Science Teacher of the Year award in 2009. She was teacher of the year at Robles Elementary as well as a top 5 district finalist in 2012.

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Deborah is in her 18th year of working with ESE students. The first 8 were in Springfield, Massachussetts. She worked first in a Juvenile Detention Center, then moved into a self contained Emotional/Behavior Disabilities classroom at Kensington Avenue Magnet School, which is an IBO school. She moved to Florida in 2005 and since then has worked at Wimauma Elementary. She spent two years as an InD teacher, and four as a VE resource teacher. For the past 4 years she has been an ESE Specialist. Wimauma Elementary has an Autism Spectrum Disorder program as well as 2 EELP classrooms, and a VE coteach program. She received ger Bachelor’s of Science in Eduacation from Westfield State University with a double major of Elementary Education and Social Work. She then went on to receive a Master’s of Education in the area of Special Education. She is certified in ESE K-12, Elementary K-6, and has her ESOL endorsement. She earned National Board Certification in 2007 in the area of Exceptional Needs Specialist, PreK-12. She has worked with the University of South Florida as a PPP mentor for special education interns.

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Mrs. Day has been teaching for twenty two years and received her National Board Certification in the area of literacy in 2006. Mrs. Day is currently a fifth grade Language Arts teacher at Dale Mabry Elementary. She also taught at Westshore Elementary and received the honor of being their Teacher of the Year in 2000. She has served on Writing and Reading committees in her schools and in the district.

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Kimberly DeFusco is currently serving at the Supervisor for Library Media Services, 6-12.  She has been a classroom teacher in Japan and Hillsborough County at the high school and middle school levels and served as a school library media specialist and peer evaluator. She has extensive training and experience with technology and instructional technology integration. Kimberly earned her B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tampa and attended the Technical Institute of Monterrey in Queretaro, Mexico for a specialization in Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture. She also received her M.A. in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida. Kimberly is certified in School Library Media K-12 and Gifted K-12. Kimberly also achieved National Board Certification in Library Media. Throughout her educational career, Kimberly has been involved in various aspects of leadership in the field of School Library Media. Kimberly has served on the School Leadership Team, Reading Leadership Team, School Advisory Committee and as Faculty Liaison for PTSA. She was twice recognized as her school’s Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year. At the district level, she has conducted professional development trainings for media specialists and a variety of subject areas, mentored new media specialists and served on the governing board of the Hillsborough Association of School Library Media Specialists. Kimberly has also presented at the state conference of the Florida Association of Media for Education (FAME) and served on FAME’s Leadership Development Committee.

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Categories: Behavior Management, Classroom Management, Co-Teaching, Differentiating Instruction, Early Childhood, Early Exceptional Learning, Elementary Reading, Managing Student Behavior (2D), Model Classroom, Elementary, Procedures & Routines, Reading Assessments & Data Usage, Reflecting on Teaching (4A), Special Education
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Annelis Diaz has been working as an educator in Hillsborough County for the past 13 years. She has experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade working with children in the Exceptional Student Education Program. She has taught at Turner for the past 8 years and has previously worked at Lake Magdalene Elementary and Lockhart Elementary Magnet. She attended Florida State University where she received her degree in Psychology. Annelis is certified in Exceptional Student Education, Regular Education, and Pre-Kindergarten. Annelis is also National Board Certified in Special Education.

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Jodie Donahoo has taught elementary music in Hillsborough County Public Schools since 1998. She has a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Florida State University and has been National Board certified in early and middle childhood music education since 2004. She is an active member of the Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educator’s Council and the Florida Music Educator’s Association. She is also Level 2 certified in World Music Drumming and regularly participates in various other professional development opportunities at the state and local level. Mrs. Donahoo has made contributions to Florida’s Performing Fine Arts Assessment Project, is currently serving on the school district’s elementary music Curriculum Planning Team, is a district trainer for Florida Standards in the Elementary Music Classroom and Higher Order Thinking in Music, and is the district chairperson for the Technology in Music Education Committee.

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Emily Feaster is a Math and Science Resource Teacher at Colson Elementary. She has been a teacher for 14 years in Hillsborough County. She taught children with Autism for 5 years, Fifth grade for 5 years and has been a Resource Teacher for 4 years. Emily has her Master’s Degree in Psychology. She became National Board certified in 2009. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year in 2010 at Seffner Elementary and again in 2015 at Colson Elementary. She has been a trainer for the Math Department for 2 years.

Categories: 1:1 Computers, Community Building, Cooperative Learning, Instructional Coaching, Managing Student Behavior (2D)
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Krista Fielder is currently the Reading Resource Teacher at Webb Middle School. She is National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist November 2002-2022. She has taught 2nd-8th grades in all subjects since 1993 in Hillsborough County. She earned her Master’s Degree from USF in Adult Education in 2003. She represented HCPS as a presenter at the NSDC conference in Washington, D.C. for NBPTS on Urban Systemic Change. Ms. Fielder was elected Teacher of the Year at Webb Middle School for the 2012-13 school year.

Categories: 1:1 Computers, Behavior Management, Character, Classroom Community, Communications, Cooperative Learning, Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Model Classroom, Middle
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Categories: Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A)
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Categories: Classroom Community, Classroom Design, Classroom Environment, Communicating with Students (3A), Community Building, Cooperative Learning, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Flexibility & Responsiveness (3E), Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources & Technology (1D), Designing Coherent Instruction (1E), Designing Student Assessments (1F), Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Framework for Teaching, Master Trainer, Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Mentoring Students, Mission & Vision, Online Learning, Organizing Physical Space (2E), Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Project Innovate, Reflecting on Teaching (4A), School Branding, Setting Instructional Outcomes (1C), Storytelling, Student Leadership, Using Assessment in Instruction (3D), Using Questioning & Discussion Techniques (3B)
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Tracey has been employed by Hillsborough County School District as an Elementary School Counselor for 15 years. She is currently at Essrig Elementary where she has been for 13 years. She formerly worked at Mitchell Elementary and Temple Terrace Elementary. Ms. Gillett received a BS in Human Development from the University of Texas and an MA in School Guidance and Counseling for Nova Southeastern University. Before becoming a school counselor Tracey was a probation officer for 3 years and worked for Metropolitan Ministries as a family counselor and program manager for 9 years. Ms. Gillett received her National Board certification in 2006.

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Categories: Classroom Design, Classroom Space, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), ESOL, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Managing Student Behavior (2D), Organizing Physical Space (2E), Procedures & Routines, Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Reflecting on Teaching (4A)
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Cindy Harnest is currently the Academic Intervention Specialist for Witter Elementary School. She also taught second and fifth grades at Town and Country Elementary. Cindy was a peer evaluator for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years in Hillsborough County.

Cindy was selected Teacher of the Year for Witter Elementary in 2007. She has conducted professional development trainings for her school and the district as well as becoming a trainer for the ESE modules developed for CTA.

Categories: Differentiating Instruction, Reading Instruction for Low Performing Students
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Joyanne Herdman has been a Media Specialist for the last ten years and became a National Board Certified media specialist in 2011. She has worked in the media centers at Clair-Mel, Buckhorn, and then opened Bailey ES. Prior to her years in media she was a first and second grade teacher along with spending two years being a language arts specialist. Strawberry READS, BOB Barnes & Noble Night, and the HASLMS Book Drive are all projects that Mrs. Herdman organizes and collaborates with other media specialists to make these successful events for students and their families. Leadership roles for Mrs. Herdman include National Board Advisory Committee and Media Leadership Team. Joyanne is available to mentor or assist with literature programs for students and creating Art Makerspace as these are her areas of expertise.

Categories: Contact for Areas of Expertise, Literature Programs (FRA, BOB), Makerspace, Model Media Center, Organizing Physical Space (2E), Storytelling
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Stacy Jenkins is currently teaching her 19th year in Hillsborough County. She has taught 1st, 5th and 6th grade through out her career. She has taught 5th grade for 17 of the 19 years of teaching. She earned her BA in Education from USF and her MS degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix. She has worked for several years at a Title1 / Renaissance school. She has taken on many leadership roles through out her years as an educator, mentoring, collaboration, data analysis, PLC facilitator, leadership team, science contact, math contact, and science resource classroom teacher.

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Mrs. Laura A. Johnson is currently the Media Specialist at LaVoy Exceptional Center. Prior to this, her teaching career began as a classroom teacher at West Tampa, Grady, and Temple Terrace Elementary schools. It was at Temple Terrace that she made the transition to the Media Center. Following Temple Terrace, she was the Media Specialist at King High School. She left King to return to her elementary roots at Sulphur Springs. The opportunity at LaVoy opened up and Laura decided to stretch herself professionally.  She loves being at “the little school with a lot of heart”. Mrs. Johnson is the queen of organization. She doesn’t go anywhere without her planner. She has been a trainer for Professional Development and ACP since 1997. During her years with Hillsborough County, she has served on many district and school committees. Mrs. Johnson became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2004 and has achieved renewal.

Categories: Co-Teaching, Community Building, Contact for Areas of Expertise, Literature Programs (FRA, BOB), Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Mentoring Teachers, Organizing Physical Space (2E), Procedures & Routines, Reflecting on Teaching (4A)
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Amanda Johnston was born and raised in Western Michigan where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Cornerstone University. She has been teaching elementary music for 10 years, 8 of which have been in Hillsborough County. She also teaches guitar as a member of Little Kids Rock and gives private lessons for piano and violin. She is a Bible teacher and preschool music director at Heritage Baptist church. Amanda has been married for 8 years to Stephen and has a 4 year old daughter named Kaylin.

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Ann currently teaches 3rd grade at Lanier Elementary School. She graduated from the University of Nebraska and is dual certified in Elementary Education and Special Education. She obtained her National Board Certification in 2008. She taught for 5 ½ years in Germany for DoDDS, 4 ½ years in Florida previously, two years in South Carolina and one year in North Carolina before returning to Tampa in 2006. She taught at Roosevelt Elementary for 7 years, and was named Teacher of the Year there in 2012. She has taught second and third grade, as well as served as a Resource and Title I teacher.

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Aurora Kersey teaches at Robinson High School. She currently teaches Web Development, Administrative Office Technology and AP Computer Science, In 2003, she initially certified with National Boards and recertified in 2012. She is a former Accountant and currently a PLC Facilitator, and Industry certificated in Microsoft Office, Adobe – Photoshop, Dreamweaver & Flash, Certified Internet Web Professional – Associate Design Specialist, &, Site Development Associate. She is also an FBLA advisor who coaches students to District, State and National competitions as well as coaching students to obtain District and State Offices.

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Michelle has been working with special needs children as a teacher since 1996. She began teaching in Pasco County and also briefly taught in Escambia County before coming to Hillsborough County in 2002. She enjoys working with our most severe InD population and has a Bachelor’s degree in Mentally Handicapped and a Master’s degree in Varying Exceptionalities.

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Adam Kloper is the Math Resource teacher at Robles Elementary School. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of the Virgin Islands and a Master’s in Middle School Math Education from Walden University. He earned National Board Certification in 2013 in Early Adolescent Math. He also won the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. At Robles Mr. Kloper works with all grade level teachers and students on mathematics, and he coaches the school’s chess team.

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Categories: Designing Student Assessments (1F), Elementary Mathematics, Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Instructional Coaching, Mentoring Teachers, Procedures & Routines, Reflecting on Teaching (4A), Using Assessment in Instruction (3D), Using Questioning & Discussion Techniques (3B)
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Sara LaBarbera is the Media Specialist at Walker Middle Magnet, an IB World School. Sara graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in English & a Master’s degree in English Education. She began her career at Walker as a 7th grade Language Arts teacher in 2001. Sara became the Media Specialist at Walker after 5 years in the classroom and has been loving life in the Media Center ever since. She attained National Board Certification in 2008 and also holds ESOL and gifted endorsements. Sara prides herself on collaborating with teachers, facilitating research projects across grade levels, and coordinating many literary activities for her students including a Media Advisory Committee, MakerSpace Mondays, and the Hobby Showcase. Sara has served in leadership roles at her site, coaches sports, and trains for the district. She truly embraces the role of teacher-librarian!

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Julie A. Leno currently teaches First Grade for Hillsborough County Schools at Lanier Elementary in Tampa, FL. Her former teaching experiences include 2 years of teaching First Grade in Hernando, County, FL. She also taught First Grade for 7 years at Robles Elementary in Tampa, FL. For the past 17 years. Mrs. Leno (formally Miss Lofgren) has taught at Lanier in First Grade where she was honored to be voted teacher of the year twice by her peers. Her passion for teaching is shared regularly with the many interns she has had the fortune to have join her in her classroom from USF and UT.

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Categories: Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Special Education
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Sharon Leto has been teaching science in Hillsborough County for twenty eight years. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida with degrees in Natural Sciences and Secondary Education. She holds a Master of Science in Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a Focus on Integrating Technology in the Classroom from Walden University. She is a National Board certified teacher for adolescent/young adulthood science since 1999, and renewed the certification in 2009. Her biography is listed in “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering” (2011), “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” (2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000), “Who’s Who in America” (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007), Who’s Who Among American Women (2011, 2009), “Who’s Who in the World” 2015, (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008)and Heritage Who’s Who (2011). She is a member of the National Association of Science Teachers (NSTA), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) , National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), Florida Association for the Gifted (FLAG), and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). In addition to her work with students, she enjoys working with other teachers around the district. She has served on textbook selection committees and have helped to develop district curriculum guides, exams, and reviews. She has served as a reviewer for the current AP Biology textbook – AP edition of Biology seventh edition by Campbell and Reese, look for her name on page xviii! She is a master trainer for Hillsborough County Public Schools. Each summer she works as a lead facilitator with a group of other experienced Science teachers in our school district to present a one-week orientation to prepare newly hired science teachers for their classroom experience. Working with those new teachers keeps her energized and makes her eager to get back to school each fall!

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Emily Lippincott has worked as a School Counselor for the past 10 years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of South Florida. During her time as a counselor she has worked in the high school setting at Bloomingdale and Armwood.

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Rossana Lopez has been teaching children with special needs for 15 years. She is originally from New York where she studied education. She has an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Science, a Bachelors in Organizational Science and two Masters, one in ESOL and ESE. She is Nationally Certified and owns several certificates in Education such as, certification in K-12 (ESE), Pre-K to 3 (Reg. Ed. Teacher), ESOL -adult and K through 5.

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Christine MacAulay has been teaching elementary physical eductaion since 1999. One of her constant teaching goals is for students to take the knowledge learned in her classes and share it with their families at home. Making this connection to home helps spread the importance of physical activity in our daily lives. She also enjoys mentoring new teachers as well as presenting at district level trainings. She loves to travel, read and and participate in a variety of physical activities.

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Jenni earned her National Board Certification in Early & Middle Childhood Art in 2006, and holds both Masters & Bachelors Degrees in Art Education (K-12). In addition, she is certified in Elementary Education. She is currently the Art Specialist at Deer Park Elementary School. She has been inspiring students in the art classroom since 1991, teaching at various levels including: elementary, middle, and high school. Jenni serves as the District Art Professional Learning Community Coordinator as well as a PLC leader. She is a district mentor and a member of the District Art Curriculum Team. Jenni is a practicing artist, and does commission work, as well as exhibiting her work in local shows. Jenni also became a published author and illustrator of her own children’s book, “Toothless Pirate Joe” this past summer.

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Janet Matthews is a Media Specialist at Shields Middle School. She has worked as a Media Specialist in Hillsborough County Public Schools since 2004. She worked at Philip Shore and Frost Elementary prior to her present position.

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Categories: Behavior Management, Classroom Community, Classroom Management, Cooperative Learning, Master Trainer, Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Mentoring Students, Mentoring Teachers, RTI Intervention Strategies
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Jacqueline is in her 21st year of teaching in Florida. She is certified in Elem. Ed. 1-6, Early Childhood PreK-3, and VE K-12. She has taught in only 2 schools but in classes in all grades K-6 and many different models of service on the ESE service spectrum. Ms. Milak has just successfully renewed her National Board certification in Early Childhood Mild to Moderate Special Needs. She is currently teaching a Pilot Program in Kindergarten utilizing her duel certification in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education serving students needing more support than the typical general Education Kindergarten class. Ms. Milak is a mentor for undergraduate and graduate students at USF through the PPP mentor program.

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Amy has been teaching middle school social studies in Hillsborough County since 1999. She was nominated by her peers as Teacher of the Year, and currently serves as the school’s SAC Chairperson.

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Mrs. Jennifer Moon has been teaching for fourteen years and is currently an Instructional Mentor. Mrs. Moon taught fourth and fifth grade at Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary, as well as,  fifth grade at Westchase Elementary and Grady Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Elementary Education, K-6, with an endorsement in ESOL as well as a Master’s Degree, from the University of South Florida, in Reading Education with a Reading Endorsement; K-12. Mrs. Moon earned her National Board Certification in Literacy during the 2008-2009 school year. She was Teacher of the Year at Westchase Elementary in 2012.

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Jennifer has been teaching for 9 years, two of which were overseas in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 2012-2014. She began teaching in 2006 at Pizzo Elementary and later moved to Westchase Elementary where she now teaches kindergarten.

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Nancy Nowakowski has been teaching in Hillsborough County since 1986. Her career began as an elementary education teacher, but she followed her passion to be a Physical Education teacher in 2002. As a physical educator, her focus is on developing her students to be lifelong learners of physical activity. In doing so, it is imperative that she provides them with the cognitive knowledge of the skill or concept as well as the opportunity to learn and practice the physical skill. As she plans her lessons there is as much emphasis on the “learning” as there is on the “doing”. Her motto is, “Knowledge is Power!!!!!! She enjoys mentoring new teachers as well as presenting at the district and state level. Nancy is an avid tennis player, enjoys all sorts of physical activities, and loves the beach.

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Caroline currently teaches 3rd grade (all-boys) at Lanier Elementary School. Her 18 years of teaching have involved 5th grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and 7 years of single-gender education. She is active in Hillsborough County’s single-gender leadership programs and presents at district conferences as well as facilitating small teacher learning groups. Caroline achieved National Board certification in 2005 and successfully renewed in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from UCONN and a Master of Science in Education from FSU. Her passion for teaching and learning extends from her students to her peers through leading faculty book studies, chairing the Character Leadership program and hosting interns.

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Jon Oosterling earned a B. MusEd. from the Eastman School of Music. After two years of touring with Maynard Ferguson, he performed and recorded in Miami, Florida until he began teaching public school in 1993. His North Carol City Elementary Choir was chosen to perform for the Superintendent’s Holiday TV program in 2000 and featured at the Miami Ballet that same year. He has been selected by his schools in both Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties as teacher of the year. Besides teaching, Mr. Oosterling also writes/records music and is currently the Praise Team Director for Hope Lutheran Church in Bradenton, Florida.

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Mr. Perkins has taught in the district since 1989. He taught in private schools for 4 years before coming into Hillsborough County Public Schools. His teaching experience has been in Title 1 and Renaissance schools. Mr. Perkins received NBCT certification in 2003 and renewed in 2012. He has given numerous hours to mentoring other teachers and facilitating trainings and workshops to support other teachers.

Categories: Bulletin Boards, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Classroom Management, Classroom Space, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C), Model Classroom, Elementary
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Fran Phillips became a NBCT in 2010, in her twenty-fifth year of teaching. She currently teaches at Philip Shore Elementary Magnet School of the Arts. Mrs. Phillips’ teaching experience has taken her from a classroom teacher, an art teacher and now a teacher of the gifted in grades K-5. At her school, she also serves as the ESE team leader, as a member on the Student Advisory Council, and the coordinator for the National Elementary Honor Society.

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Linda Pittman graduated from Baylor University in 1987 with a degree in elementary education. She returned to Tampa and began teaching 3rd grade at Tinker Elementary. She continued studying at USF and graduated with a master’s in Guidance and Counseling. In 2000, Linda earned her National Board Certification and renewed in 2010. Linda was a guidance counselor at Lockhart Elementary and is currently a math coach at Dickenson Elementary.

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Categories: AP English
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Farrell Rogers started teaching science in 1991. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and a Master’s in Secondary Science Education, both from the University of Florida. Currently, he is the science department chairperson and resource teacher at Marshall Middle School in Plant City, FL, overseeing the science curriculum for grades 6-8. Mr. Rogers was awarded Fellowship in USF’s Noyce Master Teacher Fellowship Program in 2013 and will continue with the program until 2018. In 2000, he earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science and renewed on 2010. Farrell has participated in science research at the National High Magnetic Field Lab in Tallahassee, FL; The University of South Florida’s College of Engineering in Tampa, FL; and the University of Wisconsin’s Materials Research and Engineering Center in Madison, WI. He has been training and coaching science teachers in Hillsborough County for the past 15 years and presented at several conventions including NSTA. In 2002, Rogers was elected Teacher of the Year and was selected as one of 10 finalists for Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. In 2008, Rogers created a Robotics Science elective at Marshall Middle School. This was the first of its kind as part of the middle school program. He was the lead consultant to implement the robotics program at two other middle schools during the summer of 2010. Rogers was robotics instructor at USF Polytechnic’s Gifted and Talented Institute during the summer of 2010. He has been an instructors at Polk State College’s TALON Robotics program since the inaugural year of 2011. Rogers has competed in and taught Medieval Armored Sword Fighting since 1991. He resides in Lakeland, with his wife, son, dog, and four cats. His chores at home include, but are not limited to, taking out the garbage and recycling every Thursday night. At home he wears only orange and blue.

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Categories: AP Environmental Science
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Categories: Character, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Classroom Management, Classroom Space, Communicating with Students (3A), Complex Reading in the Content Area, Cooperative Learning, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Flexibility & Responsiveness (3E), Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Using Questioning & Discussion Techniques (3B)
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Erin Erickson Saladino earned her National Board certification in 2014. She has been teaching since 2002 in various areas of her certification, including middle school art and musical theatre and, elementary art since 2006. Her educational philosophy encompasses the use of both the visual and theatrical arts as communicative problem solving. Erin has been given several leadership opportunities throughout her school sites and the education community to contribute curriculum design and presentation strategies.

Categories: Classroom Environment, Classroom Management, Classroom Space, Designing Student Assessments (1F), Establishing a Culture for Learning (2B), Framework for Teaching, Managing Classroom Procedures (2C)
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After attending Florida State University and earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, K-6, with an endorsement in ESOL, Kadie stayed to earn a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts Education. She started her career in Pinellas County teaching 5th grade, but soon moved to Hillsborough County. Kadie taught 5th grade reading at Potter Elementary and then transitioned to a 4th grade self-contained classroom. During the 2012-2013 school year Kadie worked to earn her National Board Certification in Literacy. Kadie is worked as an EET Mentor servicing renaissance schools for two years. Now, Kadie is teaching and loving third grade at Grady Elementary!

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Categories: Master Trainer, Technology, Technology Training, Teen Parenting
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Categories: Behavior Management, Character, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Communicating with Students (3A), Cooperative Learning, Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources & Technology (1D), Demonstrating Knowledge of Students (1B), Designing Coherent Instruction (1E), Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Framework for Teaching, Managing Student Behavior (2D), Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Mentoring Students, Mentoring Teachers, Model Classroom, Elementary, Using Questioning & Discussion Techniques (3B)
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Categories: Behavior Management, Character, Communicating with Students (3A), Creating an Environment of Respect & Rapport (2A), Individual Education Plans (IEP), Managing Student Behavior (2D), Mentoring NBCT Candidates, Special Education
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Sandra earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education K-6 from Southeastern University. After teaching second through fourth grade for four years she attended the University of South Florida to earn her Master’s Degree in Reading Education K-12. In 2013 she earned her National Board Certification in Early/ Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading/Language Arts. She has now been teaching 15 years in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Her experience ranges from second to fourth grade general education in Title I and Renaissance schools (self contained, Co-Teach, Three Teacher Model and ESE FUSE), Reading Resource and Reading Coach. She is currently teaching at Ruskin Elementary as a VE teacher.

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Patricia is both a professional artist and art teacher with seventeen years’ experience in the Hillsborough County public school system. She is also Certified K-12 with Master of Art. As a NBCT teacher she has been identified as a highly qualified art teacher. Some of her awards include Teacher of the Year 2002 and 2009, 2001 Ida S. Baker nominee and the Distinguished Service Award 2012-2013 from the Hillsborough Art Educators Association.

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Angela became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2002 and recertified again in 2012. In her 18 years of teaching, she has taught numerous grades including 5th grade for the last 10 years.She has been awarded Teacher of the Year twice in her career; in 2003 at Dickenson Elementary and again in 2010 at Carrollwood Elementary. She was the Reading Contact Teacher at Carrollwood for 4 years and has been a active member of the Student Adivsory Counsel. In addition, for the past 8 years she has been the Beta Club Sponsor at her school.

Categories: Behavior Management, Classroom Community, Classroom Environment, Classroom Management, Communicating with Students (3A), Communications, Community Building, Demonstrating Flexibility & Responsiveness (3E), Engaging Students in Learning (3C), Procedures & Routines, Reflecting on Teaching (4A), Student Leadership
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This is Jodi Vizzi’s 20th year in education. She has taught several grade levels in elementary and has been a media specialist. This is her fourth year as a peer evaluator, with experience observing in elementary, middle and high schools. Jodi has a lot of experience with character education and technology. Jodi attended the University of South Florida, earning a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and Masters Degrees in Elementary Education and Library and Information Science. Jodi is also certified in Early Childhood Education. In 2007 Jodi achieved National Board Certification in Library Media. Throughout her educational career, Jodi has been involved in various aspects of leadership. Jodi has served as team leader, head of the reading committee, technology specialist and property control coordinator. Jodi held a board position on the Florida Reading Association for four years. Jodi has serviced the district by piloting Altiris, Active Directory and Easy Grade Pro. Jodi has served on the HP Review Committee, mentored new media specialists, and served on the media leadership team. Jodi has done trainings for the media, technology and property control departments in addition to presenting at FAME and FRA conferences.

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This is Beth Wilt’s 11h year in the school district and 4th year as a New Teacher Mentor for special education teachers in grades Pre-K through 12th grade. Beth Wilt taught in Pre-K through 5th grade self-contained autism spectrum disorder classrooms for 7 years prior to becoming a mentor. Beth has a BS in Communication Disorders from Colorado State University-Pueblo, a Master’s of Special Education in Behavior Disorders from University of South Florida, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education from University of South Florida. Beth went through Hillsborough County’s Alternative Certification Program. Beth is also a National Board Certified Teacher for Severe and Multiple Needs Individuals Birth-22. Beth has her ESOL endorsement, Autism endorsement, is certified in Elementary Education K-6 and in ESE Pre-K-12. Beth works as a trainer for several special education and professional development trainings. Beth also worked as a PPP teacher for special education interns from University of South Florida for the last two years in her classroom. In addition, Beth works as an adjunct instructor at University of South Florida teaching undergraduate and master’s level special education courses. She also works as a mentor for the New Teacher Center.

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Raina H. Young graduated from University of South Florida with her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 1996. She became National Board Certified in 2005 and obtained her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Curriculum & Instruction from USF in 2009. She currently teaches Head Start (ages 3 – 5 years) for Hillsborough County Schools at Esther D. Burney Elementary in Plant City, FL. Her former teaching experiences include 16 years of teaching Kindergarten for Pinellas County Schools, FL. She was lead teacher at Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary School in St. Petersburg, FL for 10 years. Mrs. Young (formally Ms. Holliday) also taught private preschool for 9 years and was an Assistant Director for 2 of those years. Her Head Start classroom received NAC accreditation in 2013.

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