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Recognitions Presented at 2017 National DI Conference

OrnelasThe National Institute for Direct Instruction, in conjunction with the National Direct Instruction Conference, was pleased to present several recognitions the night of July 25th. The Siegfried Engelmann Excellence in Education Award was given to two individuals this year. The first recognition went to Rebecca Ornelas, Assistant Principal for Instruction at IDEA North Mission Academy, in Mission, Texas. Under her leadership at North Mission, a high degree of academic and social growth has been achieved by all pupils. She holds daily practice sessions for all members of the teaching staff and, as her nominator Billie Overholser notes, "She helps teachers implement Direct Instruction with fidelity and is viewed as a companion, friend and leader by all."

Tuel copyA Siegfried Engelmann Excellence in Education Award was also presented to Jamie Tuel, a DI/Reading Intervention Coach at Straub Elementary, located in Maysville, Kentucky. Straub is a Pre-K-Grade 2 Primary school in a rural setting serving a low socio-economic, fairly transient population. Jamie started as an instructional assistant 4 years ago, when a new superintendent began a push for a Reading Mastery implementation. She had recently completed her undergraduate work in education and was given the assignment as the DI Coach in 2014. As a result of her leadership and skill the implementation has expanded to include all students in the school. In support of Jamie's nomination, Superintendent Rick Ross writes, "In a short span of 3 years she has transformed our school from having zero trained DI teachers in 2014 to 91% (30 out of 33) well trained-teachers in 2017. I am comfortable saying she is one of the brightest stars in the field of DI coaching."

South FloresThe Wesley Becker Excellent School Award was presented to IDEA South Flores Academy, located in San Antonio, Texas. Under the leadership of Principal Hailey McCarthy, South Flores Academy currently leads IDEA Public schools for students on or above grade level in grades kindergarten through second grade, with 96% in math and 91% in reading/language. This tremendous growth has happened in 5 short years. Michael Hardy, Senior Vice President of Schools for IDEA writes, "The moment you set foot within the school, the strong culture of learning and dedication to Direct Instruction is immediately evident. IDEA South Flores Academy embodies the tenets of the Wesley Becker Excellent School Award, transforming an entire community and embodying the principles of Direct Instruction in and out of the classroom."

We extend our congratulations to each of the recipients and look forward to hearing about their future success! 

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