Their peers picked 21 Boca public school teachers to honor at the 33rd annual Boca Raton Teacher of the Year Awards.
Calusa Elementary chose beloved coach and educator Scott Johnson’s memory to salute.
Art, music, science, math, reading and special education were among teachers tapped for their expertise. See the full list below.
Principals praised the selection on videos and most attended Thursday’s banquet at Office Depot Global Headquarters in Boca.
“Her heart is a teacher’s heart,” Boca High principal Dr. Susie King said about Sarah Call, who won this award in 2013.
Some students may find math hard, “but she finds a way to reach them,” Don Estridge High Tech Middle principal Rachel Capitano said about Mary Beth Giddings.
Richard Andreacchio tripled the choral music program at Olympic Heights High. His students performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall last year.
Literacy teacher Joann Tatham “brings reading to life for our kids,” said Sunrise Park Elementary principal Alicia Steiger.
Scott Johnson’s family and parents accepted a Lifetime Achievement award for the impact he made at the school for 20 years. They received a standing ovation.
There’s an outdoor mural dedicated to his memory at Calusa, said principal Dianne Rivelli-Schreiber. She was honored earlier Thursday as principal of the year at the FAU Foundation’s Green Schools Awards Reception.
The teachers had their say, too.
Cited for his Holocaust and anti-bigotry teachings at Omni Middle, “the students give me hope for tomorrow,” said Bogan Paraschivoiu.
“Who hasn’t had one teacher that molded us into who we are today? They are the true everyday heroes,” Peter Gary, event chair and Pinnacle Advertising CEO said to set the tone for the evening.
“My seventh-grade history teacher acted out the battle of Gettysburg in a sandbox,” Office Depot executive v.p. and chief retail officer Kevin Moffit told the crowd in his welcome.
School board chairman and Sunrise member Frank Barbieri Jr. started this event 33 years ago as a club event. “Frank is really the reason we are here,” Gary said.
Barbieri wouldn’t accept the praise, but his commitment to public education was clear. Aside from his school board duties, all three of he and Rita’s grandkids are in public schools in suburban Boca, he said.
The teachers deserved these honors, said schools superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy, who had the last word. “Thank you for all you do for the kids of Palm Beach County.”
Each teacher received $200 from Sunrise Rotary and $100 gift card from Office Depot.
Sunrise Rotary and Teacher of the Year have the same things in common, said club president Tim Sharp. “For those who see a world where people unite and take action for education and literacy.”
The club uses the proceeds for education majors’ scholarships and teachers’ continuing education. The club’s Danny Spandau co-chaired the 13-member event committee.
West Boca High’s culinary academy students prepared the desserts. Spanish River High’s jazz band and singers from Boca High’s chorus performed. Olympic Heights Marine JROTC honor guard led the program. Claudia Shea, the school district’s communications director, emceed.
Here’s the teachers who were honored:
James Wade, Addison Mizner Elementary School
Jennifer O’Sullivan, A.D. Henderson University School
Theo Wiles, Boca Raton Elementary School
Mary Donnelly, Boca Raton Middle School
Sarah Call, Boca Raton Community High School
Scott Johnson, Calusa Elementary School
Mary Cavailoi, Coral Sunset Elementary School
Laura Cash, Del Prado Elementary School
Mary Beth Giddings, Don Estridge High Tech Middle School
Sunshine Grunstein, Eagles Landing Middle School
Kimberly Attias, Hammock Pointe Elementary School
Scott Fontaine, J.C. Mitchell Elementary School
Susan Kinderman, Loggers’ Run Middle School
Richard Andreacchio, Olympic Heights High School
Bogan Paraschivoiu, Omni Middle School
Kathleen Kaminsky, Sandpiper Shores Elementary School
Kevin McEnroe, Spanish River Community High School
Joann Tatham, Sunrise Park Elementary School
Annie Lombardo, Verde Elementary School
Catrina D’Annunzio, Waters Edge Elementary School
Jennifer Napuli, West Boca Community High School
Melissa Romero, Whispering Pines Elementary School