Two Palm Beach Atlantic University graduates were recognized as finalists for Beginning Teacher of the Year in Palm Beach County during an awards ceremony May 19 at Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach.
|PBA education professors congratulate alumna Ailyn Barrios, a finalist for Beginning Teacher of the Year in Palm Beach County. Attending the May 19 awards ceremony were, from left, Dr. Tim Ladd, Barrios, Dr. Chelly Templeton and Dr. Janet Cornella.|
Ailyn Barrios is a science teacher at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington. She graduated from PBA in 2010 with a degree in biology/secondary education.
Melissa Vonderbecke is a teacher at Independence Middle School in Jupiter. She graduated in 2008 with a degree in elementary education.
The Beginning Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to an outstanding elementary, middle, and high school first-year teacher employed by the School District of Palm Beach County who has been recommended by his or her principal for demonstrating excellence.
Five finalists are chosen in the elementary, middle and high school categories. Of the 15 finalists, three — one from each category — are selected for the Beginning Teacher of the Year Award.
Also during the ceremony, several teachers were recognized as Mentor Teacher of the Year. One of the three recipients of that award was Marilynn Rose Pedek, a science teacher at Suncoast High School who serves as an adjunct chemistry professor in PBA’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Each award recipient receives a $500 check to be used for planning lessons and/or supplies for his or her classroom.
The Department of Professional Development and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County Inc. co-sponsored the event in support of first-year teachers and mentors.