By Sharon Aron Baron
Broward County Public Schools recognized its outstanding employees this evening (March 1) with its new Caliber Awards during a combined ceremony held at the Signature Grand in Davie. The gala event replaces the annual ACCLAIM, Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year ceremonies held in the past. The event was streamed live by BECON-TV on the District’s website.
Jacqueline Carrero, teacher at McNicol Middle School, is Broward’s Teacher of the Year. A teacher for 21 years, Carrero always roots for the underdog. As an English for Speakers of Other Languages, English Language Learners and Exceptional Student Education teacher, she believes she must embrace challenges, overcome obstacles and persuade her students to buy into their education and invest in themselves. Although sometimes rough around the edges, Carrero’s students are survivors whom she views as diamonds in the rough, who merely need to be handed the right academic tools and skills to bring out their shine.
Finalists for Teacher of the Year include:
Jillian Berg, Coral Glades High School
Alan Leipzig, Seminole Middle School
Yvonne McDonald, Challenger Elementary School
Karline Prophete, Pines Middle School
Joseph Vallone, Plantation High School
Christine Semisch, Principal at Deerfield Beach Middle School, is Broward’s Principal of the Year. Semisch’s intense enthusiasm for educational excellence, coupled with her undisputable competency, allows her to perform her tasks as principal in a high performing manner. Semisch has served the District since 1990 and has been Deerfield Beach’s principal since 2009. She is a high-performing leader who aligns her management skills with the school’s strategic direction through her informed decision-making ability, ethical mannerism, and relentless effort to create thriving partnerships between school and community.
Finalists for Principal of the Year include:
Susan Leon-Leigh, Coral Springs High School
Kathy Sedlack, Peters Elementary School
Enid Valdez, Piper High School
Laurel Ann Bifora, Assistant Principal at Fort Lauderdale High School, is Broward’s Assistant Principal of the Year. With 17 years of education, Bifora demonstrates strong leadership, integrity, accountability, and compassion while serving as an outstanding mentor to Fort Lauderdale High School students. She has served as assistant principal at Fort Lauderdale High since March 2009. As a school leader, she has implemented several different programs to help increase student success. She has the ability to embrace a vision and turn it into reality. A believer in life-long learning, Bifora gives selflessly of her time.
Finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year include:
Deborah Brown, Coconut Creek Elementary School
Vincent Dawes, Pompano Beach Elementary School
Danielle Smith, Virginia S. Young Elementary School
Beth W. Milewski, Guidance Office Secretary at Coral Glades High School, is Broward’s School-Related Employee of the Year. A District employee for 26 years, Milewski is a calm and efficient clerical staff member who always provides insightful and helpful advice for all situations. She is a well-respected employee and her touch of friendly humor has won her the allegiance of all faculty and staff. Milewski always has a cheery disposition, from scheduling appointments for students with their counselors to communicating with parents and assisting in their child’s education.
Finalists for School-Related Employee of the Year include:
Jona Brown, Community Liaison, Westwood Heights Elementary School
Amanda Muir, Micro-computer Tech Specialist, Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School
Sandra Stachura, Confidential Office Manager I, Eagle Ridge Elementary School
Olivia Vans, Bookkeeper II, Pompano Beach Middle School
Colleen Warren, BRACE Advisor, Hallandale Adult Community Center
- Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.
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