Archive for the ‘STE’ Category

FSU COE Alumnus Named Best Teacher in the Nation

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment


Bobbie Cavnar

Bobbie Cavnar

Florida State University alumnus Bobbie Cavnar said he never dreamed that his passions for education and Shakespearian literature would lead to him being named the best teacher in the nation. Cavnar, 40, recently told The Charlotte Observer he was astounded when he discovered he was being awarded $35,000 by the National Education Association Foundation and named the nation’s best teacher for 2018. He was honored at the 2018 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala Feb. 9 in Washington D.C.

He has spent most of his career teaching literature at South Point High School, located 10 miles outside Charlotte, North Carolina. He gives lectures in a classroom elaborately decorated with paintings and antiques — intended to captivate his students and encourage them to acknowledge the beauty of language.Dean Marcy Driscoll said Cavnar’s award puts a spotlight on the work the FSU College of Education is doing to train aspiring educators.“We need music, we need dancing, we need painting, we need the arts,” said Cavnar in his acceptance speech. “For it is the arts that teach us how to understand each other.”

“We aim to prepare our students to make a positive impact not only in their communities, but in the field of education at large,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the FSU College of Education. “Bobbie is a shining example of this mission and we couldn’t be prouder of the great work he’s doing. This recognition is a testament to the quality of our both our students and our programs here at FSU.”

After graduating from Florida State in 1999 with a degree in English Education, he spent a brief period of time teaching in south Florida before settling down at South Point H.S.

In 2016, Cavnar was selected as North Carolina’s Teacher of the Year. Local sponsors put his face on a billboard overlooking Interstate 85 as it runs through the center of Gaston County.

Cavnar accepts the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence Feb. 9 in Washington, D.C.
Cavnar accepts the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence Feb. 9 in Washington, D.C.


Cavnar takes great pride in his work. Among his students, he is known as the teacher who brings Shakespeare and literature to life. His enthusiastic teaching style makes it easy for his students to engage with the material and develop a more exciting outlook on learning.

He first developed that style at Florida State, where he used his love of literature to make a difference in his community.

During his freshman year, he took an Intro to Education course, which required him to give a lesson at a local high school. He taught a lesson on the Langston Hughes poem “Theme for English B,” a story about a black student writing to an older white professor. The students loved it and bombarded Cavnar with questions.

He walked out of that classroom knowing that teaching was what he wanted to do with his life, and he hasn’t looked back.


Check out his acceptance speech at

College of Education faculty and students work with K-8 students on math skills

July 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Ian Whitacre

Dr. Ian Whitacre, Assistant Professor in the School of Teacher Education, along with a group of preservice elementary teachers and grad students, are working with students at the North Florida Freedom Schools summer camp on honing their math skills.

“This is a professional development experience in which the teachers get practice leading number talks with students at the camp,” explains Whitacre. Number talks are a particular type of mathematical discussion in which students share their ideas and strategies. With this model, the teachers benefit by improving their skills in selecting tasks and leading mathematical discussions, and the kids benefit from participating in number talks, which involve reasoning flexibly about math problems and explaining one’s thinking. 

The students from the camp will visit the Stone building on Friday, July 8 where the College of Education will hold a Math Fair from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

College of Education, Gadsden County Public Schools host summer institute for teachers

June 15, 2016 Leave a comment

The summer institute is held at Greensboro Elementary School.

The Florida State University College of Education and Gadsden County Public Schools have partnered to host a two-week summer institute that will provide teachers with research-based instructional strategies for teaching STEM related subjects.

The GCPS-FSU Advancement of STEM Teaching — or GFAST — Mathematics and Science Summer Institute for Teachers is an immersive, hands-on and inquiry-based practice in STEM education for teachers of grades PreK-8 that includes instruction on project-based learning. The two-week institute runs from Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 24, at Greensboro Elementary School in Quincy, Florida.

STEM education experts and professional development consultants from the FSU School of Teacher Education and It’s About Time will deliver instruction in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science with a strong practice base aligned to the Florida mathematics and science curriculum standards.


Ella-Mae Daniel

“Each day, teachers will participate in a discussion on how to apply what they have learned,” said Ella-Mae Daniel, teaching faculty in FSU’s School of Teacher Education. “In addition, they will have the opportunity for written reflection as well as the development of a plan for classroom implementation.”

The institute’s objectives are based on professional development outcomes from the Florida Department of Education. They seek to deepen teacher-participants’ mathematics and science knowledge; expand teacher-participants’ pedagogical knowledge; improve student mathematics and science achievement; and integrate project/problem-based learning in mathematics and science instruction.

GFAST’s goal is to maximize learning for all while respecting students’ cultural and linguistic differences by organizing a sustainable professional development model for meeting instructional practices to optimize the effectiveness of teaching based on student achievement in mathematics and science. This model is reflective of the Florida Strategic Plan, highlighting performance goals around high student achievement.

Job opportunities for the upcoming school year

June 3, 2016 Leave a comment

job opps

Innovation Charter School in Pompano Beach, FL job openings for the 2016-2017 school year:

  • K-4th Grade Teachers

  • Interested applicants may contact Tiffanie Holm.

    Community Leadership Academy in Tallahassee, FL job openings:

    • Middle School Math Teacher
    • Middle School Science Teacher
    • K-8th Grade Music Teacher
    • First Grade Teacher

    Interested applicants can visit and contact Heidi Stidham.

    Florida State University Schools (FSUS) in Tallahassee, FL job openings for the 2016-2017 year:

    • Instructor (10 Month Position)– Math, Science, Latin Grades 6 – 12 (4 positions)
    • Instructor (10 Month Position) – Grades 3 – 5

    Apply online or contact Mandy Manning.

    Grady County, GA job openings for the 2016-2017 school year:

    • High School Science Teacher
    • English Language Arts Teacher
    • Art Teacher
    • Middle Grades Math Teacher
    • Foreign Language (Spanish) Teacher

    Fill out an application at or contact Dana Pritchett.

    Indian River Academy in Vero Beach, Florida job openings for the 2016-2017 school year:

    • Fifth Grade Teacher
    • Fifth Grade ELA Teacher
    • Media Specialist

    Fill out an application at or contact Diane Fannin, Principal, or Meghan Davis, Assistant Principal.

    New York Film Academy based out of a new South Beach, Miami location:

    • Assistant Director of Recruitment position

    Click here for more information or contact Maria Culbertson.

    The School of Arts and Sciences in Tallahassee, FL job opening for the fall 2016 semester from 8:30-12:30:

    • Long-Term Substitute in Second Grade Math or Behavior Management

    For more information, contact or

    The School of Arts and Sciences at the Centre (SASC) in Tallahassee, FL job opening for the 2016-2017 school year:

    • Associate Teacher to co-teach with Lead Teacher K-3
      Associate Teacher to work with a Lead Teacher in a multi-aged K/1 or 2/3 classroom with 25 students. The curriculum at The School of Arts & Sciences Center is teacher created, based on the Florida Standards. Applicant must be creative, flexible, and have the ability to plan and execute hands-on, thematic lessons, often with guidance from the Lead Teacher. A valid Florida Teaching Certificate in field is required and pay starts at $14.50 per hour for 38 hours per week. Benefits (medical insurance, retirement, leave) are available. Associate Teachers proven highly effective with strong classroom management can move into a Lead Teacher position within 1-2 years. Conscious Discipline training preferred.

    If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter with Associate Teacher Position in the subject line by June 24, 2016 to Lindsey Merrick, Principal at

    West Bainbridge Elementary in Bainbridge, GA immediate opening:

    • Fourth Grade Teacher

    Contact Principal Jamie Ard.

    Do you have a job opening you’d like us to add? Send the available positions and contact information to

Katelyn Moloney recognized as Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year finalist

March 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Moloney was one of 14 Humanitarian of the Year finalists.

Katelyn Moloney, an undergraduate student in the English Education program, was recognized by President Thrasher as a finalist for the President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award. Each school or college selects one student to be the Humanitarian of the Year, a prestigious award that recognizes students who exhibit tremendous commitment to service. Moloney was selected as the College of Education’s Humanitarian of the Year.

A junior from Orlando, Fla., Moloney hopes to influence the next generation of students to continue to affect change. The aspiring English teacher said her goal is to help shape future students to have a humanistic mindset and want to help people. She currently serves with The Alzheimer’s Project via AmeriCorps, an organization that partners with families and provides care and services to people with Alzheimer’s. As an emergent educator, Moloney aims to cultivate humanitarianism among her students.

Moloney was one of 14 students recognized for their tremendous commitment to service at a luncheon Wednesday as part of the annual Humanitarian of the Year program. Of the students honored, one who best exemplifies commitment to service will receive the President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award at Leadership Awards Night on April 5.

For more on FSU’s undergraduate students and their commitment to service, check out FSU’s press release.

Photo via Florida State 24/7

Visual Disabilities students making a difference in the lives of veterans

March 1, 2016 Leave a comment
Kailey and Elizabeth

Kailey Case & Elizabeth Stevens

The Visual Disabilities program at the FSU College of Education prepares students who have a personal and professional commitment to improving the opportunities for individuals who are blind or have low vision. Two current graduate students have recently been praised for epitomizing this commitment.

Kailey Case and Elizabeth Stevens are currently interning with the Biloxi Veterans Administration Blind Rehabilitation Center where they work with a wide range of individuals with visual impairments teaching them to travel with independence using a long white cane. The majority of the clients at the center range in age from 70 to 90, with the oldest being a 94-year-old World War II veteran.

“Orientation and Mobility specialists give the gift of independence and dignity back to people who’ve lost their vision, and it’s clear that our students are doing this at the Veterans Administration in Biloxi, MS,” said Mickey Damelio, teaching faculty and orientation and mobility coordinator in FSU’s Visual Disabilities program. “We’re happy to be able to do our part here to help veterans regain their independence. It’s great to give back to folks that gave so much for our country.”

During their time, the students worked with retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force Tracy P. Ferro who praised the two for their positive energy, high spirit, and devotion.

“Not only did they work with us to learn or improve our orientation and mobility skills,” began Ferro, “but they would listen to our advice on how to help them with their jobs, which benefits the visually impaired student to have less frustrations when learning a new task.”

Throughout the Visual Disabilities program, students learn to provide meaningful, experiential, hands-on activities in natural, flexible learning environments. These activities promote access to opportunities for maximum independent functioning and ultimate inclusion as adults in society.

“When people initially lose their vision, the ability to move with independence is often the most sorely grieved,” explained Damelio “This loss of freedom has direct impact on a person’s emotional well-being and quality of life.”

Case and Stevens will finish their internship this semester, graduating from FSU with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the FSU College of Education. They will go on to work as Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists working in schools with children who are blind or visually impaired.

“Miss Case and Miss Stevens’ education, willingness to help, and cheerfulness reflect great credit upon themselves and Florida State University,” remarked Ferro.

Want to be a part of this inspiring program? Visit or contact Mickey Damelio to learn more.

Four College of Education graduate students nominated for 2015-16 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

January 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Four graduate students from the FSU College of Education have been nominated for a 2015-16 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award:

Sponsored by the Graduate School, the Office of Research, and the Program for Instructional Excellence, these awards recognize outstanding graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) for their distinguished contributions to student learning through excellence in instruction.

Recipients and their departments will be recognized at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence, on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 3:30pm at the Alumni Center.

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