Excellence In Education Awards: Special Education Teacher Has Been Named 2016 Teacher Of The Year

By Ellainie Calangian, Parent Herald March 29, 05:00 am

Mary Beth Radigan, 62, a special education teacher at Plant High School in Tampa, Florida was chosen as the 2016 Teacher of the Year and bested 6 other nominees. The awarding ceremony was held at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts last March 23. The award is part of the Excellence in Education Awards, in which it honors three outstanding educators and support staff.

News Channel 8 reports that Ms. Radigan has been a special education teacher for 29 years. She implemented programs that are conducive and helpful for students at Plant High School. These include Organic and Hydroponic Gardening, Pawbucks Coffee Shop, Unified Special Olympic and Paw Prints Cheerleading.

School officials and students praise Radigan for her contributions and dedications in educating the children. Tampabay shares the statement of Rob Nelson, the principal of Plant High School.

"She is an amazing woman, very humble, very modest," said Nelson. "But the compassion she has for her kids is second to none. She gets these as early as I do."

Dylan Mirasola, 16, a ninth-grader at Plant High School introduced Radigan. "She teaches us great things in Science," said Mirasola. "She is awesome. She is really nice to us. She teaches us Science, which is my favorite subject. I have fun being a Paw Print cheerleader. "

"Ms. Radigan also helps me in Special Olympics bocce ball. I want to thank you so much, Ms. Radigan, for all you do," concluded Marisola.

Radigan was asked why she has chosen to teach special education. "The population of students I am able to work with accept people unconditionally," she said. "This lesson takes most people and cultures a lifetime to achieve. I'm grateful for having these students to help me understand this phenomenon, "concluded Radigan.

The other winners of the Excellence in Education awards are Wayne Moore, who was named 2016 Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Angela McKinnon, who received the 2016 Ida S.Baker Diversity Educator of the Year award. McKinnon is the guidance counselor at Young Middle Magnet School and Moore is the School Resource Officer at Just Elementary School.

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