2017 Lindback Award-winning teachers

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  1. Anita Abraham – George Washington High School – Abraham can teach any level of student, and does so with great enthusiasm and skill. She is dedicated to making personal connections with each of her students, whom she mentors well beyond class time.


  2. Sonia Adams – McClure Elementary School – Adams, for whom education is a second career, is a dual language teacher passionate about teaching students living in poverty. Her commitment to the McClure community is strong, and she creates a classroom culture that accepts all students, regardless of learning differences.

  3. Karen M. Askew-Teel – Bartram High School – For 35 years, Askew-Teel has worked as a speech language pathologist who provides speech therapy for students with communications impairments and gives a voice to the voiceless by teaching nonverbal students alternative ways to communicate. She is a nurturing educator with a positive disposition who advocates for Bartram without hesitation and shows its students that greatness is possible.




  4. Elsie Camp – Penn Alexander Elementary School – Camp makes every moment count with her students, who are English-language learners. She provides programming before and after school, differentiates instruction, and partners with families; she has mastered hands-on activities to help students who have never spoken a word of English before entering her classroom.

  5. Cristobal Carambo – Philadelphia High School for Girls – A passionate educator with a love of the sciences, Carambo leads Girls’ High’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math program. He is committed to the growth and development of both the students and faculty of Girls’ High.

  6. Todd Corabi – Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush – Corabi has been a respected health and physical education teacher and coach in the district for the past 21 years. He is a gifted coach and teacher whose dynamic classroom is a place where all students feel comfortable.



  7. Keena Core – Mitchell Elementary School – A product of the Philadelphia School District, Core is a strong advocate for her students, their families, and her colleagues. For 15 years at Mitchell, Core has consistently served as a beloved teacher, leader, coach, and more.

  8. Stacey Dello Buono – Thomas Mifflin Elementary School – Dello Buono is a strong teacher who has taken it upon herself to engage the whole school in academic collaboration. She coordinated an oratorical contest, started a career day, runs a book fair, math workshops, and even opened a “museum” to display student projects.

  9. Jennifer Disque – Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences – A tireless worker, Disque is Saul’s special education liaison; she hosts tutoring sessions, organizes school admissions, and coordinates numerous school activities. On any day, during any class period, her students are actively engaged in hands-on, differentiated activities.




  10. Nicholas D’Orsaneo IV – Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School – D’Orsaneo has created several programs, including a regionally recognized choir, percussion ensemble and Broadway-style musicals. His strong music program incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to academic instruction, and his students perform at high levels.

  11. Javier Dominguez – Nebinger Elementary School – Formerly a podiatrist in Camden, Dr. Dominguez transferred his love of science into a career in education. His sense of humor and flexibility have endeared him to his students and his colleagues; he inspires students to love science and created a school-wide science, technology, engineering and math currriculum.

  12. Marcie Erickson – Feltonville Intermediate School – Erickson is the school-based teacher leader for literacy, an expert whose hard work has helped improve student outcomes at Feltonville Intermediate. She earns the highest praise from the children she teaches: “When the students have a problem, she always helps us find the right solution,” they wrote.




  13. Ellwood P. Erb IV – Kensington CAPA – Erb, who works in the community where he was raised, has brought an art department to life over the last two years, engaging students of all levels and abilities. He is a special education teacher certified to teach art, computer science and social studies, the school’s technology teacher leader, and its football coach; students describe him as “truly inspiring” and “the best teacher I ever had.”

  14. Charlene Jennings Fenster – Randolph High School – Fenster is an exemplary educator who trains students to work in the dental field. She employs innovative instructional strategies to engage every student, and she goes out of her way to arrange unique learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.

  15. Janel Flanagan – Constitution High School – An excellent biology and environmental science teacher with high expectations for her students, Flanagan enriches her subjects with creative lessons. She is firm but fair, and is constantly exploring ways to improve her teaching to engage and instruct her classes.




  16. Nanette Foley – High School for Creative and Performing Arts – Foley is a rare mix of artist and teacher, a musician whose devotion to her students means they are willing to do anything for her. She organizes and conducts a 75-member orchestra and creates opportunities for her students to learn, grow and thrive.

  17. Joseph Frailoli – Frankford High School – After serving the U.S. for over 20 years in the Army, Frailoli moved into the education sector, and has worked at Frankford for the past 22 years. As leader of the school’s JROTC program, he organizes students in service learning projects, and has an unparalleled compassion for the teens he mentors.

  18. Michael Franklin – Chester Arthur Elementary School – Franklin’s commitment to science education is obvious in everything that he does in his classroom; his content knowledge is unparalleled. A K-8 science, technology, engineering and math teacher, Franklin created the Wildcat Workshop, Arthur’s makerspace, and started the nation’s first civil engineering club for middle school students.




  19. Sarah Friedland – Overbrook High School – Friedland engages her students and stirs their creative thirst. Her classroom is an environment where students feel safe and comfortable; she is the teacher you want for your own children and the staff member you want on your faculty.

  20. Margie Goodwin – Robeson High School – A key instructional leader at Robeson High, Goodwin is the school’s dean, special-education liason, school-based teacher leader, senior class sponsor, cheerleading coach, and National Honor Society advisor. Over a 35-year career in the Philadelphia school system, Goodwin has earned numerous accolades and, most importantly, inspired thousands of students.

  21. Carolyn Gray – Julia R. Masterman High School – Gray is beloved by her students and her colleagues. Although she has over 50 years of teaching experience, Gray is still learning, participating in professional learning communities, writing grant applications, and publishing articles on project-based learning.




  22. Jeffrey Gross – Edison High School – Gross, a special education teacher, goes above and beyond to bring the world to his students. He brought in a music therapy program and other visitors to Edison, and organizes trips to broaden his students’ horizons.

  23. Dana Haas – Vare-Washington Elementary School – A strong teacher leader, Haas has worked as the visual arts teacher at Vare-Washington for eight years. She runs the photography club, leads the peer coaching team, and serves on the school’s leadership team.

  24. Jennifer Hale – Ethel Allen Promise Academy – Hale, who serves as the math coach at Ethel Allen, inspires students and colleagues by being firm yet fair, having rules yet maintaining strong relationships. She is a true champion for students and families.




  25. Alexandra Halbom – Cooke Elementary School – Halbom is a role model who “makes learning fun” and prepares children for life, her students say. She mentors other teachers and has earned the respect of her colleagues with her dedication, enthusiasm and talent.

  26. Lisa Hantman – McCall Elementary School – In her 37 years as a teacher, Hantman has transformed the lives of countless children. She empowers students to become responsible citizens, curious, passionate readers, and lifelong learners; she is also a mentor to her colleagues.

  27. Jennifer Harris – Lea Elementary School – Harris is a dynamic teacher who challenges her students in a positive, motivating way and acts as a leader among the Lea faculty. Her students describe her as “fair and caring” and she brings fresh ideas into the classroom.




  28. Monique Henry – Potter-Thomas Promise Academy – Henry, a kindergarten teacher, prides herself on innovative, engaging lessons and on helping each student reach his or her full potential. “She is a good role model because she never gives up on a child, she makes sure we are ok, and she lets us know it is ok to make mistakes,” one former student wrote of Henry.

  29. Ashley Hernandez – Hill-Freedman World Academy – Hernandez “epitomizes what all school communities expect from a professional educator,” her principal says. Students are excited to be in her Spanish class, actively engaged, and regard her with warmth and appreciation.

  30. Diane Honor – Overbrook Education Center – Honor loves to see her students feel safe asking questions, making connections, and learning from one another. She has a contagious positive energy and is a team player who takes on numerous responsibilities in addition to teaching math to third and fourth graders. 




  31. Syeed King – Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services – Working with students in the city’s Juvenile Justice Center can be challenging, but King starts and ends his days excited to motivate students. He is a teacher and a motivator, and ensures that each student feels valued.

  32. Chiny Ky – South Philadelphia High School – As a child growing up in Cambodia, Ky always aspired to be a teacher, and for the past 28 years, he has done just that. Ky has worked as a math teacher, bilingual specialist, and administrator at the school and district level. He is extremely dedicated to his students, and his work ethic, cultural sensitivity and advocacy have been assets to the South Philadelphia community.

  33. Robert Lajoie – Parkway Center City High School – With over four decades of professional experience ranging from graphic arts to museum work, Lajoie does it all at Parkway Center City. He teaches five classes, designs sets for drama, coaches volleyball, creates enormous murals, and in his spare time, recently established a ceramics program.




  34. Jared Lauterbach – Workshop School – A tireless advisor, teacher and role model to all, Lauterbach is “one of the best math and special ed teachers I’ve encountered,” his principal said. He is calm, professional, a leader and a mentor who combines a deep care for his students with accountability.

  35. Ann Leaness – Science Leadership Academy @ Beeber – Leaness is an English teacher and leader and former administrator who is a co-founder of Edcamp, a series of grassroots professional learning opportunities that now operates nationally. She pushes her students to think critically and is a positive, caring force at her school.

  36. Tiffany Lorch – Furness High School – Lorch is an exemplary teacher who mentors students and staff alike; her outstanding work ethic and altruistic nature benefit the entire Furness community. As an ESOL teacher, Lorch helps immigrant students make a smooth transition academically, emotionally and socially into their first education experience in America.




  37. Deborah W. Mann – Girard Academic Music Program – Mann is “caring, hilarious, inspirational and encouraging,” one of her students says. Students in her reading, English and social studies classes feel comfortable taking risks and are challenged to reach their fullest potential.

  38. Julia McComie – Franklin Learning Center – McComie helps lead FLC’s New Learners Academy, welcoming students new to the United States into the school. She uses many effective strategies to help students achieve growth in the acquisition of English as a second language, and is often students’ “go-to person,” someone they can confide in despite a language barrier.

  39. Mary Elizabeth McGroary – Pennypack House School – A career and technical education teacher in the district’s school within the Philadelphia Prison System, McGroary has a passion for teaching incarcerated youth. Her aim is to empower students with skills that can help them turn their lives around.




  40. Kenya Moody – Swenson High School – Moody, a computer networking teacher, established a school-based IT help desk that provides students with real-world work experience. She encourages critical thinking and problem solving with her rigorous instruction, and challenges her students to work hard and take responsibility for their actions.

  41. Megan Niedosik – Kensington High School – Niedosik, a math teacher, is never satisfied with mediocrity from herself or students. She has a deep commitment to students and an unparalleled enthusiasm for her subject.

  42. Michael Perricone – Roxborough High School – As a history teacher, dean of students, safety team leader, and baseball coach, Perricone shines. He is a collaborative teacher and leader who understands the delicate balance between autonomy and teamwork, and he builds strong relationships in the classroom and even in the discipline office.




  43. Nicholas Petit – Thomas Holme Elementary School – Petit is the reason Thomas Holme has become an arts-integrated elementary school; children in every grade now have experience in the arts. He works through his lunch period with students as part of their positive behavior support plan, leading to a dramatic reduction in the school’s suspensions.

  44. Steven Quigley – Strawberry Mansion High School – A math and history teacher, Quigley finds strategies to break subjects down for students who struggle with them. He has also shown leadership as the football coach, starting a program for a school that never had a football team.

  45. Samuel Reed III – U School – In his 19th year with the school district, Reed teaches students to read, write, and make sense of the world as a humanities educator. He coaches the U School’s poetry team and runs a series of summer workshops known as Boys Write Now.




  46. Chandra Singh – Philadelphia Military Academy – Singh creates a supportive and positive learning environment for her students; she believes that all can succeed. In addition to being a social studies teacher, Singh is PMA’s roster chair, testing coordinator, a thorough professional with a keen eye for detail.

  47. Jhannell Small – Hartranft Elementary School – Small makes sure all students excel, with a strong focus on early literacy. She gives her all to Hartranft, coordinating assemblies, hosting after-school clubs, and visiting families to create a culture of learning.

  48. Candice Smith – Anne Frank Elementary School – Smith, a respected fifth-grade inclusion teacher, never gives up on her students and holds high expectations for all. She is strict but caring, and her innovative use of technology in the classroom has helped students tackle difficult concepts that might otherwise be difficult to absorb.




  49. Thinh Trach – Kirkbride Elementary School – Trach, who immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at age 9 and graduated from Philadelphia schools, demonstrates excellence as an educator and a leader. His lessons engage students in practical, exciting math concepts, and he is committed to his colleagues and to the community.

  50. Kathleen Tye – Fox Chase Elementary School – Tye “brings real joy into every lesson she teaches, and she sees each student as an individual whose needs must be met,” her colleagues say. A second grade teacher with 40 years of experience, Tye is patient, calm, and passionate about her vocation.

  51. Eros Uthman-Olukokun – High School of the Future – A strong math teacher and calm presence in the hallways, Uthman-Olukokun has been instrumental in driving a positive culture at School of the Future. He is also a coach and mentor who cares about students’ lives outside the classroom.




  52. Taj Utsey – Wilson Middle School – An engaging, creative teacher, Utsey is loved by his students. He is always supportive of the district’s math initiatives, and is well-respected by his colleagues.

  53. Matthew Wahl – Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School – Wahl, a special education teacher, is dedicated to students and can often be found outside during lunch, playing a pickup basketball game, or in the weight room lifting with students. He is the school’s leader in building and maintaining planting beds, greenhouses, and other environmental projects.

  54. Jada Warfield-Henry – Sayre High School – Warfield-Henry, who began her professional life as an attorney with the National Center for the Protection of Child Abuse, is now an English teacher who takes her responsibility to reach each child very seriously. She is a team player who teaches her students not just English but also responsibility and a strong work ethic.




  55. Natalie Watt – Childs Elementary School – Watt is dedicated, warm, professional, caring and a skilled teacher who takes on extra responsibilities with zeal. Her lessons are well-executed and challenging; her students take on Watt’s persona and are kind, helpful, and respectful.

  56. Anissa Weinraub – Academy at Palumbo – An enthusiastic, compassionate force at Palumbo, Weinraub founded the school’s theater department, transforming an unused room into a functioning Black Box Theater. She is an English teacher who brings out her students’ creativity and seeks out partnerships with outside organizations to enrich her students’ learning experiences.

  57. Ivey Welshans – Middle Years Academy – Welshans, a special education teacher, is a true advocate for children who need additional support; she is adamant about their success. The students of MYA respect her no-nonsense approach, and they look to her for advice and guidance. 




  58. Jerry White – Philadelphia Learning Academy-North – White, the special education liaison and roster chair for PLA-North, is the principal’s right hand, always willing to take on extra tasks to help the school run smoothly. He works closely with students to make sure they reach goals, and mentors other teachers often.

  59. Marie Wilkins-Walker – West Philadelphia High School – Wilkins-Walker teaches computer systems networking with a hands-on approach to teaching real-world skills. She is a dynamic, knowledgeable, charismatic teacher.

  60. Emmitta Woods – Morton McMichael Promise Academy – A 17-year math teacher, Woods has a genuine love for students and creates a positive learning environment. She forms lasting bonds with the children she teaches.











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1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

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