By: Lanetra Bennett
February 11, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - A 14-year science teacher in Leon County known for her ability to reach students and coach fellow teachers, was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year.
She's described as "hardworking, compassionate, dedicated, and remarkable".
In a surprise visit to Godby High School Teacher, Robin Oliveri, Tuesday morning, Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons, district and school administrators announced that Oliveri is the 2014 district Teacher of the Year.
Oliveri's husband and other family members were also present.
She has been teaching for 14 years. She says, "I do it for the kids. I do it because I know that they need us and they need us to help them overcome their challenges and to believe in themselves."
Oliveri's spent the past four years at Godby as the instructional science coach, where she helps teachers with strategies and planning.
Godby Principal Shelly Bell says, "Immediately, I recognized what a great job she was doing working with our other teachers, the collaboration, the mentoring that was going on. She is a phenomenal teacher."
She means more to her students. Eleventh grader Albert Cannon says, "She's the reason why I got my first job. The reason I say she's like a mother because she's always there when nobody else is there. She's always the person I can call."
Oliveri is even more than that.
Oliveri says, "I'm a breast cancer survivor. I can tell you that I didn't think that I could handle treatment and working and dealing with all the challenges that we deal with in education anymore. But, the kids are amazing. Just realizing that they care as much about us as we care about them, just kept me going. I don't think I could ever leave teacher after that."
Oliveri is a 1987 Godby Graduate.
She will now be in the running for the statewide "Teacher of the Year" award. That will be announced this summer in Orlando.
News Release: Leon County Schools
Tallahassee, FL—Robin Oliveri, a 14-year science teacher in Leon County known for her ability to reach students and coach fellow teachers, was named the 2014 LCS Teacher of the Year.
“Robin’s passion for science and innovative, no-holds-barred instruction really motivates students,” said Superintendent Jackie Pons, who surprised Mrs. Oliveri at Godby High School with the news Tuesday morning. “She is a real leader and excellent example for her peers.”
Mrs. Oliveri, a former Cobb Middle School teacher, has been teaching science at Godby for four years. She is also an instructional coach and science curriculum developer. In addition, she serves as department chair, green coordinator, science fair coordinator, professional development representative and new teacher mentor.
“There are dozens of words to describe her such as ‘passionate,’ ‘positive,’ ‘dedicated,’ ‘compassionate,’ ‘creative,’ ‘respected,’ ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘patient,’ but the one I like best is ‘educator,’” said Godby Principal Shelly Bell. “In the ten years I have worked in administration, I have never worked with someone as passionate about her discipline as Robin. She lives for science and her love of the subject has brushed off on her entire department. I continue to be impressed with her positive attitude and commitment to our students.”
“Opportunities abound for teachers to make a lasting impact on student achievement through targeted focus on teacher quality and dynamic instruction,” Mrs. Oliveri wrote in her application. “With each opportunity comes a unique challenge that we must face as a community if we are to be successful in changing the future of education for our students.”
Mrs. Oliveri was selected by a committee representative of past Teacher of the Year winners, district administrators, community members, parents, the Leon Classroom Teachers Association and the School Board. The committee conducts a blind review of each school winner’s application to identify finalists; interviews are then conducted to select the district winner. The interviews include questions and criteria established by the state program, and all committee members score and vote to determine the winner. Mrs. Oliveri will represent Leon County Schools in the statewide Teacher of the Year Program.
**The other district finalists were: