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Excellence in Education Awards Presented at the National Direct Instruction Conference

In conjunction with the National Direct Instruction Conference, NIFDI presented several recognitions. The Siegfried Engelmann Excellence in Education Award was given to two individuals this year. The first recognition went to Sharon Buttner of Jacksonville, Florida. Sharon is a DI consultant, primarily for McGraw-Hill. In her 13 years of working with DI she has touched the lives of hundreds of teachers, administrators and others, for the benefit of children all across the US. Lauren Anderson, of the Lee County, Florida Curriculum Department writes, "I cannot say enough good things about Sharon's dedication to excellence and her ability to support a county in their use of Direct Instruction. I have learned so much from watching her work with teachers and students. Her knowledge of DI is impressive, and her ability to communicate and coach is amazing.

A Siegfried Engelmann Excellence in Education Award was also presented to Gayle Gorman, currently Direct Instruction Coordinator at Lincoln Avenue, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In support of Gayle's nomination, long-time (now retired) McGraw-Hill representative Linda Heiderer wrote, "Gayle Gorman truly deserves recognition for her 25 year of excellence in teaching Direct Instruction. She has not only been a stellar DI teacher but she has also been a catalyst for expanding Direct Instruction in the 5 Milwaukee schools she has taught in over the years. Early on, she was either the lone DI teacher or one of the few teaching the programs. The unmistakable impact she has had on the reading scores led principals at each of her schools to either expand DI or to implement it school wide. "

Finally, the Wesley Becker Excellent School Award was presented to the staff and students of Ewing Halsell Academy, in San Antonio, Texas. Ewing Halsell is a first-year school of 375 students in the IDEA Charter School network, using DI in their Kindergarten, first and second grades. They showed promising results in their first year on implementation. In support of the nomination, Natalie Rubio, Senior Vice President of IDEA Schools, wrote, "In its first year of existence, our Ewing Halsell campus team has proven that a group of novice leaders and teachers-who relentlessly and unapologetically pursue student achievement-can yield a proof point. While many doubt the abilities of our students- and the families they represent-we have proven that our students are capable of academic achievement-despite the challenges their plights represent.

NIFDI extends our congratulations to each recipient and we look forward to hear about their future successes. To view the video of the presentations, click here. Also, look for the call for nominations announcement in the February NIFDI News.

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