PBS Teachers Innovation Awards Presented to 40 Educators

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Top teacher innovators win trip to The Henry Ford for weeklong “Innovation Immersion Experience,” a SMART Slate™ and PBS TeacherLine® online course 

ARLINGTON, Va., June 6, 2011PBS and its member stations today announced the winners of the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards in recognition of the educators’ creative and inventive use of public media to engage students and improve learning. Sponsored by The Henry Ford and SMART Technologies, the second annual PBS Teachers Innovation Awards honors teachers who continuously strive to inspire young minds and cultivate the nation’s next generation of innovators and leaders. First place was awarded to the top 12 educators, one from each of twelve subject and grade-level groupings, and 28 educators were selected as second place winners.

“As America’s largest classroom, PBS is working with educators to provide tools and share innovative teaching methods to meet the emerging needs of today’s learners,” said Rob Lippincott, Senior Vice President, PBS Education. “We look forward to collaborating with the PBS Teachers Innovation Award winners to develop and share best practices for public media use in the classroom and beyond to help all students succeed.”

First place winners receive a unique weeklong “Innovation Immersion Experience” at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich., from July 31 to Aug. 5, 2011, a SMART Slate wireless slate, free enrollment in a PBS TeacherLine online professional development course, and a tote bag of PBS educational resources. The top 12 award recipients are:

  • Arts/Elementary Level: Theresa McGee, Monroe Elementary, Hinsdale, Ill. (WTTW)
  • Arts/Secondary Level: Keith Rosko, Chenago Forks High School, Binghamton, N.Y. (WSKG)
  • Health and Fitness/Elementary Level: Barry Richard Barber, South Asheboro Middle School, Asheboro, N.C. (WUNC)
  • Health and Fitness/Secondary Level: Ann King, Westchester Academy for International Studies, Houston, Tx. (KUHT)
  • Math/Elementary Level: Susan Carter, Glenridge Elementary, Clayton, Mo. (KETC)
  • Math/Secondary Level: David Massey, Chatsworth High School, Chatsworth, Calif. (KLCS)
  • Reading and Language Arts/Elementary Level: Liza Mathews, Neil Cummins Elementary, Corte Madera, Calif. (KQED)
  • Reading and Language Arts/Secondary Level: Elizabeth Jorgensen, Arrowhead Union High School, Hartland, Wis. (WMVS)
  • Science and Technology/Elementary Level: Jennifer Williams, Isidore Newman School, New Orleans, La. (WYES)
  • Science and Technology/ Secondary Level: Brendan Noon, Williamson High School, Williamson, N.Y. (WXXI)
  • Social Studies/Elementary Level: Jo-Ann Goldenberg, Melinda Heights Elementary, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (KOCE)
  • Social Studies/Secondary Level: Mark Rabalais, Pineville High School, Pineville, La. (WLPB)

Second place winners receive an exclusive educator’s kit filled with tools and instructional technology resources for the classroom from PBS. The 28 second place winners are: Paula Averkamp (WPNE; Wisconsin), Kristi Berry (WTVS, Michigan), Barbara Bowling (WBIQ, Alabama), Brenda Branch (WFSU, Florida), Michelle Buchanan (WLPB, Louisiana), Ramil Buenaventura (WNET, New York), Janine Campbell (WGVU, Michigan), Tasha Candela (WTVS, Michigan), Michael Carton (WQPT, Illinois), Chris Dodds (WOSU, Ohio), Laura Donaldson (WMPB, Maryland), Katrice Hall (WLPB, Louisiana), Karen Harrell (KUHT, Texas), Nicole Helenthal (WVIZ, Ohio), Eric Johnson (WUSF, Florida), Merisa Lavere (WLRN, Florida), Gisele Lee (KLCS, California), Brandi Leggett (KCPT, Kansas), Danna Lomax (KOCE, California), Pamala Miller (WENH, New Hampshire), Eamonn O'Brien (KQED, California), Janis Pridemore (WNEO, Ohio), Matthew Schnitzler (WNET, New York), Jeff Shreck (WLVT, Pennsylvania), Vickie Stewart (WYES, Louisiana), Lisa Timmerman (KLCS, California), Tom Vakkas (WCNY, New York) and Fengli-Trish Yu (WTVI, North Carolina).

All of the “PBS Teacher Innovators” are invited to work with PBS and member stations to encourage the utilization of public digital media and innovative teaching practices in classrooms across the country.

A gallery of the winning entries is featured on the PBS Teachers website at www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/. PBS Teachers is the Web portal to PBS’ preK-12 educational services and its searchable library of more than 9,000 free local and national standards-based instructional resources, including on-demand video and interactive games.


PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBSPressroom on Twitter.

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Stephanie Aaronson, PBS, 703-739-5074, saaronson@pbs.org   

Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608/839-9805, kristen@cblohm.com