We’ve Selected Our Excellence in Teaching Award Finalists!

Posted on March 28th, 2011

Posted by Melissa Cechota, AAF Communications Coordinator

One of the neatest parts of my job with AAF is reading through the nomination packets each year for the Excellence in Teaching Awards.

If ever in need of encouragement that there are still people in the world that care about others, I need not go further than the stack of nominations that came in this year for the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

We received 45 nominations. Each packet contained two letters of support and a nominee statement; these letters are truly inspiring and a strong testament to faith in teaching. After our staff reviewed the 45, we narrowed down the selection to our top 20 for the Selection Committee. Let me share: this was no easy task. We spent hours reading, and then re-reading each letter, noting teacher highlights. Phone calls to schools and nominators were also made for further background information. Our staff diligently considered each teacher during a meeting, and what resulted was an amazing top 20.

The Selection Committee of six agreed that choosing the final 10 was challenging. In fact, it took several rounds of voting to determine the finalists.

“I had to go with my heart to make the selections, but it was very difficult,” said Arpad Soo, Selection Committee Chairman and AAF Board Member. “We have so many outstanding teachers this year, and they all deserve an award. It’s a thrilling experience to read and see what these educators are doing.”

The 10 finalists for the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Awards will be announced during award ceremonies in the months of April, May and June. All winners will be featured on our website in June.

“This has been a powerful, moving experience for me,” said Roo McKenzie, Southeastern California Conference Evangelist for Education and former principal of Loma Linda Academy. McKenzie was on this year’s Selection Committee.

“It has been an honor to be part of the process and read the statements provided by schools and teachers,” he said. “I was inspired and encouraged by the teachers we have in our system – teachers who really understand their role in the classroom and the purpose of Adventist education.”

The following is a list of Selection Committee members:

Arpad Soo, Selection Committee Chairman and AAF Board Member
Joan Coggin, AAF Board Member
Greg Gerard, AAF Board Co-Chair and Georgia-Cumberland Academy Principal
Carla Lidner Baum, AAF Board Member
Roo McKenzie, Southeastern California Conference Evangelist for Education
Bob Nobuhara, 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient from Monterey Bay Academy

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