|Congratulations to these esteemed educators who were awarded KDP’s Teacher of Honor designation!|
|Teacher of Honor recipients are practicing educators with three or more years of professional experience who demonstrate commitment to continuous professional growth and integrity in the classroom.|
Learn more about this distinguished award and criteria.
|2013 Teacher of Honor||2010 Teacher of Honor|
|2012 Teacher of Honor||2009 Teacher of Honor|
|2011 Teacher of Honor||2008 Teacher of Honor|
Director/Lead Teacher, Peabody Learning Academy
Seith Bedard has served special education students and at-risk youth for more than 10 years, beginning his career as a high school special education teacher. Now serving as director of the nationally recognized Simon Youth Peabody Learning Academy, Peabody High School’s alternative program for at-risk youth—an affiliate of the Simon Youth Foundation—he is known for inspiring his students to become lifelong learners and give back to their community. In 2012, he was recognized as the Simon Youth Foundation National Administrator of the Year.
|Dr. Chantrell Anita Bruton
First Grade Teacher
Southside Elementary School, Cairo, GA
Attracted to the energy inside schools and aiming to impact children in a positive way, Bruton left a career in journalism to pursue teaching. Now with her heart decidedly in the classroom, she has initiated programs affecting both her students and the community and is known as a teacher who cares. Bruton also has demonstrated eagerness while collaborating with other teacher leaders on several school committees. She was named Southside Elementary’s Teacher of the Year in 2011.
|Melissa C. Christl
Second Grade Teacher
Pennoyer School, Norridge, IL
Demonstrating dedication to her profession and her school, Christl’s career—entirely at Pennoyer—has included teaching multiple grades, serving as a leader on committees, and mentoring other teachers. Known as a motivational educator who is generous in sharing her knowledge, Christl shows innovation in her teaching methods by incorporating individual differentiated instruction and various learning strategies. She aims to nurture a lifelong love of knowledge and reading in her students.
|Dr. Eric Martone
Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY
Bringing history to life for his students, Dr. Martone shares his in-depth knowledge of the subject by providing creative instruction and an engaging classroom environment. In teaching education and history courses, he takes a hands-on approach by allowing students to experience the material and interact in rich discussion. Much of Dr. Martone’s research and scholarly writings involve the exploration of diversity in the Western experience, with a focus on the life of French writer Alexandre Dumas, known as the “Black Musketeer.”
|Paula Ann Collet
Westside Elementary, Smithfield, VA
As an educator and a leader, Collet has the ability to connect with people of all ages, especially children. She has been dedicated to teaching elementary-age students of all learning abilities and backgrounds, especially in science, for more than 25 years. Known for her initiative, professionalism, and positive attitude, Collet has demonstrated great commitment to her students and throughout her many leadership roles within the school and school district.
7th and 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher
Alma Middle School, Alma, AR
Not only has Dooley taught mathematics for four years, she is in her second year providing training for both students and fellow teachers about the newest teaching technologies. Known for her ability to engage and collaborate, she is vital to the implementation of professional development to fellow teachers. Dooley has been an active KDP member both as an undergraduate and professional, and now serves as the KDP State Delegate in Arkansas.
Social Studies Teacher
Christian Fenger Christian Academy, Chicago, IL
Infante has demonstrated leadership qualities in and out of the classroom, with both students and colleagues. The course lead for the social studies team, she develops the department’s curriculum and facilitates meetings. She also leads the school’s MIKVA Challenge, a group that develops students’ civic skills and community involvement. Known as a positive, motivating, and creative teacher, Infante enjoys a strong rapport with her students.
College of Staten Island
City University of New York
As adjunct instructor, Kaplin has demonstrated a contagious enthusiasm for psychology, along with an engaging and personable teaching style. Highly motivated, both as a student and now in the psychology field, he has earned several leadership positions: student organization faculty advisor, intern supervisor, and educational non-profit board member, among others. He plans to continue pursuing advanced opportunities in both teaching and psychology.
Atlanta Public Schools and Cobb County Schools, Georgia
Much of McDonald’s teaching career has been dedicated to serving at-risk children and other disadvantaged students. As an elementary school teacher, instructor of adults seeking GEDs, and founder of an organization to help teen parents continue their education, she aspires to be an inspirational teacher and leader. In doing so, she continues to carry out the legacy of her great-great-grandfather, civil rights leader and educator Booker T. Washington.
Special Education Teacher
A.W. Coolidge Middle School, Reading, MA
Known for being her students’ strongest advocate, Scaglione’s priority is the emotional well-being of and respect for each child in her classroom. She develops creative lesson plans that enhance student learning by utilizing all their senses, and she works with parents and fellow teachers to determine what curricula work best for each of her students. Scaglione’s many volunteer efforts benefit organizations such as the Special Olympics and Kappa Delta Pi.
|Lisa S. Bircher
Honors Biology and Anatomy Teacher
East Palestine City Schools
East Palestine, OH
Mrs. Bircher is a high school science teacher and current doctoral student. She has conducted many presentations regarding doctoral student and science issues, and several of her manuscripts have been published. She is respected by both students and colleagues for her teaching quality and effective lesson planning. Mrs. Bircher’s students enjoy a high-level, enthusiastic, lighthearted classroom atmosphere. She has been praised for expanding her contributions outside the classroom, too, as a scholarship committee member and advisor to several student groups.
|Steven A. Brigham II
Social Studies Instructor
Golden City Middle/High School
Golden City, MO
During Mr. Brigham’s years of teaching, leadership has been a key area of focus for him, and he has worked diligently at refining his leadership and communication skills. He has been recognized for directing an initiative for his school district to implement best practices for becoming a Professional Learning Community. With his abilities for both teaching and coaching athletics, Mr. Brigham has quickly earned the respect of his colleagues for his positive contributions to the school environment.
|Dr. Cheron N. Hunter
Assistant Professor, Reading Education
Troy University Phenix City Campus
Phenix City, AL
Dr. Hunter began her teaching career as a second-grade teacher at Opelika City Schools in Alabama. She later turned her focus to graduate research on multicultural children’s literature, earning her doctorate in 2010. At Troy University, she teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in elementary and early childhood education and serves as a student advisor. When she is not teaching or researching, she can be found participating in several service projects on campus.
|Dr. Guoli Liang
Professor, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
For more than 20 years, in both China and the United States, Dr. Liang has taught a variety of courses in the areas of physical education, motor development, and sports. However, he is revered as much for his enthusiasm and passion for the Chinese culture and language as he is for his teaching ability. His colleagues and students, and even the entire community, have benefited from his efforts to teach the language, advocate for international students, and provide leadership both in the classroom and out.
|Dr. Regina Mistretta
Associate Professor/Program Coordinator
St. John’s University School of Education
Staten Island, NY
Dr. Mistretta’s teaching career spans the elementary, high school, and college levels. She has taught education and mathematics and is a champion for parental involvement and collaboration. She is also known for recruiting and mentoring highly talented faculty and being innovative in preparing students for 21st century teaching. She has secured resources for technologically advanced facilities and developed an internship program with the surrounding community. Dr. Mistretta is beloved by students and emulated by faculty alike for her passion, graciousness, and leadership.
|Dr. Mary Napoli
Assistant Professor, Reading and Children’s Literature
Penn State Harrisburg
Dr. Napoli is a professor of teaching methods and educational research, specializing in children’s literature. Her research into the role of children’s literature in their educational development has been widely published. She is known for integrating lively, interactive teaching methods into her own classrooms and is often praised by her students for the personal attention and encouragement she gives them.
Elementary School Teacher
Sonora Elementary, Springdale, AR
Using innovative teaching practices and willingly sharing his time outside school hours, Tom Northfell has earned admiration and respect from both students and fellow teachers. From his “crazy science professor” persona portrayed on the school’s broadcast system, to his many after-school initiatives, Northfell has helped numerous students, many of whom speak English as a second language, reach their full potential. The former long-time Chicago Police Captain is known for offering his own time to tutor or mentor students and faculty.
K–5 Math Achievement Coordinator
Portland Public Schools
Bonnie Robb has served Portland Public Schools since 1998, including 10 years as a first-grade teacher at Clark Elementary/Harrison Park School. She has worked with many children from impoverished backgrounds and for whom English is a second language, and a unique visual-learning curriculum she developed has improved literacy and communication skills among those populations. Currently, Robb works with Portland Public Schools to standardize and improve their math curriculum.
|Lisa L. Rollins, Ph.D.
Chairwoman and Assistant Professor, Department of Communication
Langston University, Langston, OK
With a background in public relations and journalism, Dr. Rollins brings a vast range of knowledge about the communications field to her students. Known as a selfless mentor, her dedication to students includes providing them real-world experiences, such as launching a magazine for which students can write articles and a public relations firm that represents real clients. Dr. Rollins has worked extensively as a PR professional, especially within the entertainment industry.
|Dr. Julia Schroeder
Vice President for Instruction/Professor of Mathematics and Physics
John A. Logan College, Carterville, Illinois
As an innovator, leader, mentor, and professor, Dr. Schroeder has impacted both her educational community and the southern Illinois area. She spearheaded efforts to implement the College’s first online degree program, created a mentoring program for adjunct professors, and continues to develop innovative methods for course delivery. Most importantly, though, she is highly regarded as a caring, inspiring, and commanding, educator.
|Melanie Shaw, Ph.D.
Director of Curriculum Development
Prescott Valley, AZ
Dr. Shaw’s commitment to education has spanned teaching, counseling, and administrative positions and elementary through graduate level students. She is known especially for her online education initiatives: developing courses, overseeing curricula, and mentoring and advising both faculty and students. She is a prolific writer, reviewer, researcher, and presenter and a founding member of KDP’s virtual chapter Alpha Delta Epsilon, where she has served in many roles and mentors its members.
Language Arts Teacher
Avon Lake High School, OH
Known as a leader, lifelong learner, skillful communicator, and overall exemplary teacher, Shea is highly regarded by students, fellow teachers, and administrators alike. For five consecutive years, she has been nominated by her honors students and selected as the district’s Teacher of Excellence—which designates her as an “educator who has had a special impact on a student’s life.” In her work as a teacher mentor, group advisor, and curriculum writer, Shea consistently shows a willingness to learn and grow, and she always strives to benefit the school.
|Dr. Barbara Siew Swan Hong
Associate Professor of Special Education
The Pennsylvania State University–Altoona College
Dr. Hong teaches undergraduate through doctoral level special education courses, is a Fulbright Scholar at Qatar University and the First Honorable Visiting Scholar at the Taipei Municipal University of Education, and she serves as Counselor of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Chapter. Her research writings have appeared in scholarly journals such as International Journal of World Universities Forum and International Journal of Leadership of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management, and she is a consultant for Singapore’s Ministry of Education. According to colleagues, Dr. Hong consistently demonstrates her commitment to student success and to modeling high academic, professional, and personal values.
|Kerrie Lee Slaton
Health, Physical Education, and Computer Literacy Teacher
Jefferson Community School, New Orleans, LA
A teacher in physical education and computer literacy for nearly 30 years, Slaton has been instrumental in advancing technology in her school for all curriculum areas, while also successfully writing several grants. A Committee Chair for Positive Behavior Intervention Support and a Promethean Training Liaison to the faculty, Ms. Slaton is known for her positive classroom management and generosity with her time and talents.
Learning Behavior Specialist
Chrisman Elementary School/Edgar County CUSD #6, Chrisman, IL
Since Mrs. Spung began teaching special education students in 2005, she has worked tirelessly to influence their whole lives in a positive manner. Her creative lessons—using an interactive white board for virtual field trips around the world, as well as role playing with the solar system and water cycle—coupled with her high expectations allow students of varying abilities to learn and succeed. She is known for her innovative ways and selfless devotion, which has expanded outside her classroom to influence the quality of learning in the whole school.
|Dr. Kelley Jo Walters
Ed.D. Program Director
Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Involved in a variety of higher education settings for much of her career, Dr. Walters has worked with faculty training and development, grant coordination, curriculum development, doctoral dissertation advising, and most especially, leadership and teaching in the online environment. For close to 20 years, she has been known for making personal the inherently remote nature of online education by mentoring and communicating with students and working closely with other faculty. She has taught both graduate and undergraduate online courses.
|LaTricea D. Adams
Spanish Teacher, Department Head
Cane Ridge High School, Antioch, TN
LaTricea Adams’ efforts may have won her opportunities to travel to Spain and spend one week learning about the Dominican Republic, but it was her students who benefitted. She brings all of her experiences back to the culturally diverse Cane Ridge High School, where she helps her students achieve record-setting performances on foreign language assessment tests. Active in the student life as a cheerleading sponsor, she also helped develop the school’s very first International Festival. Her energy and interest in her subject area, as well as her students, means students will continue to benefit in the Antioch community.
|Drinda E. Benge, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, MAT Coordinator
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Dr. Benge began as a classroom instructor in elementary and middle schools in North Carolina, and has maintained her connection to the classroom through her direct supervision of preservice teachers from NC State. Her role there as a graduate and undergraduate professor, as well as coordinator of curriculum and instruction in English and social studies for future elementary and middle school instructors, keeps her connected. According to Dr. Gerald Ponder, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at NC State, Dr. Benge has re-energized the university’s KDP chapter and “has been instrumental in the successful accreditation process with NCATE and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.”
|Kira Chauvin Berggren
Chateau Estates Elementary School, Kenner, LA
The excitement and enthusiasm of a new teacher and librarian shows through in all Kira Chauvin Berggren does for her students at Chateau Estates Elementary School. From working to secure additional funding for the school’s library following Hurricane Katrina, to exposing students to the exciting intersection of literature and technology, Chauvin Berggren epitomizes what a teacher of honor can be. She is a member of the Kappa Xi chapter.
|Bonita L. Berryman-Gilliam, Psy.D.
Social Sciences Instructor
University of Phoenix
Dr. Berryman-Gilliam not only teaches social sciences, but also models the ideals of that discipline. Her interest in social justice and African-American history has led her to conduct a number of research studies and to present at national and international conferences. She helped develop courses on multicultural psychology for the University of Phoenix, where she teaches. Her colleagues at the University of Phoenix describe her as a valued and respected educator.
|Apryl Renee Brown, M.D.
Wayne County Community College District
Apryl Renee Brown’s passion for health has driven her career not only as a leader in public health initiatives in Detroit, but also as a public health educator. She knows the impact health education and access can mean to both individuals and the community, and works to impart that knowledge and passion to her students at WCCC.
|Jacqueline L. Cahill, Ph.D.
K–12 Online Learning Specialist
Douglas County School District
Castle Rock, CO
Beginning her teaching at Douglas County School District in 2006, Cahill has specialized in the district’s online learning programs since 2008, including its online resource rooms, online classes, alternative licensing program, and instruction for the ever-advancing edge in electronic tools available to enhance education and learning. She earned her doctorate in E-Learning Education from North Central University and was a summa cum laude Master’s graduate in Curriculum and Instruction at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
|Reynaldo L. Duran, M.A.T.
Presidio High School, Presidio, TX
Reynaldo L. Duran loves mathematics and is determined to impart that love to his students. Prior to coming to the United States from the Philippines, he coached mathematics and population quiz teams that challenged students to compete against other students of achievement. He participated in the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) Program where he served as an educator and cultural ambassador in North Carolina for three years. He continues that work in Texas as a valued member of the faculty at Presidio High School.
|Janet Eggleston, M.A.
Special Education Teacher, Intervention Specialist
P.A.C.E. High School, Cincinnati, OH
Janet Eggleston is a teacher who is not willing to give up on any student—and she reflects that in her commitment to alternative secondary education for students who have dropped out, or not succeeded in other school settings. For the past eight years, Eggleston has worked to meet the needs of students who are making a second try at educational success. She always goes the extra mile, according to Geri L. Perrino, P.A.C.E.’s Director of Special Education. A highly qualified intervention specialist, Eggleston’s academic focus is on special education.
|Thomas P. Flood
Burlington County Institute of Technology
While Thomas P. Flood’s work now centers on counseling students as they navigate their current educational pursuits and plan future efforts, he remains a teacher at heart. Flood started out as a classroom instructor and continues to work closely with students and teachers to ensure access to quality educational opportunities for all students.
K–5 ESL Teacher, Valley View School District
It’s expected that students who have English as a second language will get instruction to help improve their reading, writing, and speaking language skills. But Rita Guzman has not limited her efforts to just those areas. She also insists on involving students and their parents in language learning and engaging the entire school in opportunities to increase and appreciate cultural diversity.
|SoYoung Kang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Education
New Wilmington, PA
The old saying goes, “it takes one to know one.” And good teachers know other good teachers. Dr. Kang’s colleagues and students are unanimous in their praise for her ability to teach meaningful foundational, ELL, and honors classes to current and future teachers studying at Westminster College.
Art Teacher, Grades 6–8
Nauset Regional Middle School
A veteran art educator and an accomplished artist, Krenik has been bringing his passion for art to the classroom as a K–12 teacher for the past 30 years, the last 23 at Nauset Regional Middle School. Recognized at the regional and national levels for both his teaching and artistry, Krenik is National Board Certified, a Massachusetts Master Teacher, Massachusetts Middle School Art Educator of the Year, and Fellow in Massachusetts Teacher Leadership Academy.
English Department Chair
Desert Hills High School, Gilbert, AZ
Kathy is a 21-year veteran teacher, who has worked primarily with at-risk students in California and Arizona. In her five years at DHHS, Lindstrom has served as English Department chair, where she has increased sophomore Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test scores by 40 percent. A member of Arizona Department of Education’s (ADE) AIMS committees since 2005, Kathy has assisted in development of both the AIMS reading tests and anchor scoring AIMS writing. Additionally, she is vice president of the Arizona Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and is earning her Doctor of Education at Northcentral University.
|LeAnn M. Morris
Empire Elementary School
Carson City, NV
Nevada’s 2008 “Teacher of the Year” is also a Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor. Recognized many times for her expertise in making technology accessible and understandable to students of varying ages, LeAnn Morris epitomizes the dedicated teacher that parents hope their children encounter. A Carson City, NV teacher since 1994, she is a student herself, completing her Ph.D. in Educational Technology.
|Chance O. Nalley
Columbia Secondary School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering
New York, NY
Already recognized by Math of America as one of America’s “Master Teachers,” Chance O. Nalley is described by parents, students, and colleagues as an extraordinary teacher. Committed to imparting the sometimes difficult and challenging lessons of mathematics to his students, Nalley also has helped broaden the social and community experiences of his students.
|Henry Oh, Ph.D.
Director and Professor, Respiratory Therapy Program
San Juan College, School of Health Sciences, Farmington, NM
Henry Oh is not only dedicated to the education of his students, but also knows that their success depends on their commitment to the health and safety of patients needing respiratory care. A registered respiratory therapist (RCT), Dr. Oh brings his passion for education and health care to his classroom every day, as well as to his work among his colleagues in the New Mexico State Society of American Medical Technologists, which he serves as president.
|Phyllis T. Pacilli, Ph.D.
Mathematics Teacher, Boca Raton Community High School
Mathematics Instructor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
Described by her colleagues as “creative, concise, and clever,” Dr. Phyllis Pacilli works hard to integrate technology, science, and mathematics into real-world applications—whether she’s teaching her high school students or her college-age teacher education students. Her far-reaching impact in the education community includes encouraging her students to desire to seek excellence and to grow their intellectual curiosity.
|Diane D. Painter, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Special Education
Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
In the effort to ensure a bright future for education, Diane Painter plays a critical role. U.S. Labor Department projections indicate a continued growing need for special education teachers in America’s schools. Dr. Painter brings her love of students and her more than two decades of experience as a classroom teacher and researcher to the preparation of the next generation of special education teachers.
|Barbara Ruth Peltzman, Ed.D.|
Associate Professor, Director of Field Experience,
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
St. John’s University, Staten Island, NY
A career educator with a passion for special needs children and early childhood education, Dr. Barbara Ruth Peltzman has helped prepare many great teachers in her life. For more than 30 years, she has taught curriculum, children’s literature, education history and methodology for preparing teachers at St. John’s University. The author of two books on the history of education, Dr. Peltzman is never far from where she started, the elementary school. She not only teaches tomorrow’s teachers, she also interacts with today’s students.
|Rhoda M. Samkoff|
Strategies Intervention Teacher
South Mountain School
As a strategies intervention teacher, Rhoda Samkoff cares not only what students learn, but how they learn. She is widely respected for her expertise in designing and applying effective teaching strategies. Ms. Samkoff shares techniques with teachers and students alike to ensure meaningful instruction. She has taught at both the elementary and college levels. According to Ms. Samkoff, “Successful teaching and learning is based on a tripod of goals; independence, self-motivation, and pride.” In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Samkoff is the founder and advisor of one of the nation’s leading student councils. She has authored the book In a Class of Your Own: Essential Strategies for the New K-6 Teacher (Corwin Press, August 2010).
|Karen A. Shearer, EdD
First Grade Teacher
Eastbrook Elementary School
Winter Park, FL
A 2011 Semi-Finalist for “Teacher of the Year” in Seminole County, Florida, Dr. Shearer is described by her colleagues as a compassionate and articulate teacher and person. Her principal notes that she “teaches students to be all they can be and more!”
|Eloise D. Stewart
Resource & Inclusion Specialist
Fernbrook Elementary School
After more than two decades in the classroom, Eloise Stewart is showing no signs of slowing down. Currently a doctoral candidate in teaching leadership, she provides daily leadership in her classroom for children with a variety of special needs. Described as a compassionate leader who craves new knowledge, Stewart remains close to her students and their goals of achieving at their highest level possible.
Math and Algebra I Teacher
Windsor Middle School, Windsor, VA
Though Jeremy has taught only four years, his achievements surpassed the minimum requirements for this award. He has earned endorsement in gifted education to better meet the needs of his students, developed school curriculum, served as Chairperson of the Teacher Council and co-president of the Isle of Wight Education Association, and currently cosponsors the Junior Beta Club at Windsor. “Mr. Utt is passionate about meeting the needs of all students, including the gifted,” said Lisa Kardos, colleague and parent of one of Utt’s students.
|Stephanie B. Weltz
Spanish Teacher, Battery Creek High School
A hard-working teacher in the classroom, Stephanie Weltz understands that a foreign language can be difficult to learn and requires extra effort—thus, she willingly tutors her students outside of class time. A self-professed “technology geek,” Weltz also prides herself on introducing the value of technology to her instruction and that of her colleagues at Battery Creek High School.