Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

School District Names Tawana Graham-Douglas Teacher Of The Year

Plainville Community Schools has named Frank T. Wheeler Elementary School second grade teacher Tawana Graham-Douglas 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year. Graham-Douglas was nominated by colleagues Reggie McConachie and Marianne Hogan. "At Wheeler, our motto is to be a "Leader of the PACK." Tawana is just that. She leads by her quiet, humorous demeanor. She is ever thinking and doing what is best for her students and colleagues. She is always encouraging students and staff to be the best they can be. Tawana truly is an exemplary teacher and leader of the PACK," said McConachie. "Tawana Graham-Douglas is the epitome of a great teacher! She is patient and kind to all of her students. She understands their needs and does everything in her power to use their strengths to build their confidence. She has an enthusiasm for teaching that is kinetic. We have been blessed to have had Tawana as a friend and colleague at Wheeler. She has touched each of us with her graciousness and gentleness. We are so proud of her accomplishments," added Hogan.

Graham-Douglas has been an educator for 12 years, serving as a second grade teacher at Wheeler during this time. In addition, she is the Coordinator for the STARS Summer program where she works with colleagues to develop their capacity to deliver effective reading and math instruction. She has also served as a presenter in the use of Web 2.0 Tools for the Connecticut Educators Computer Association's regional conference, and co-presented on topics about developing students' conceptual understanding of math for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition, she is involved in many civic organizations both locally and internationally including Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

When asked about her philosophy of teaching, Graham-Douglas noted, "Teaching is an amazing calling. Educators have the ability to shape the minds and hearts of the future. Second to family members, we have the greatest influence on children as we help to shape their view of the world and their world views. As educators, I believe our mission to be that of making a difference in the lives of all of our students by providing high-quality instruction in a safe and nurturing environment where the academic success of students is paramount."

As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Graham-Douglas will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut's 2013 Teacher of the Year Program. Each district Teacher of the Year will be individually recognized at an awards ceremony later this year hosted by the Connecticut Department of Education.

"Mrs. Graham-Douglas is a teacher who exemplifies dedication to students, teaching, and learning. She collaborates with others to ensure that every child will be successful. Tawana has made Wheeler School a better place and the entire school community is very proud of her," said Wheeler Principal, Catherine Frayler.

"Tawana is an incredible teacher, learner and colleague. She demonstrates all that teachers should aspire to, and I am so pleased to have her represent our school system," commented Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Kitching.

Graham-Douglas, a Bristol resident, holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Connecticut, a master of science degree from the University of New Haven, and a sixth year certificate in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. Graham-Douglas was honored at the June 11 Plainville Board of Education meeting.

-Posted on June 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM

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