HMH Honors Five Educators Who Helped Striving Students Succeed

At HMH, we love celebrating teachers and education leaders like you—for all that you do, in and out of the classroom. That’s why we’re announcing our five 180 Educator Award winners during National Teacher Appreciation Week. The winners below, nominated by their colleagues and peers, showed that with perseverance and persistence, you can help students overcome personal and academic challenges and enable them to grow as learners.

HMH is honoring educators who have implemented or use one of our blended intervening learning programs—READ 180, MATH 180, or System 44—in their classroom or school. The winners receive a trip to our Annual Model Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., being held from June 23–26, 2019, and either a gift certificate for professional development or a paperback classroom library.

Below, see the list of winners.

READ 180 Stage A

WINNER: Hector McCormick

Lake Hills Elementary School, Bellevue, Washington


Students in Hector McCormick’s fifth grade READ 180 class understand that he sets high expectations for their growth in reading, and they work hard every day to reach those expectations—and often surpass them.

Mr. McCormick infuses rigorous, culturally-relevant instruction paired with strong social and emotional support. He makes learning authentic through the implementation of buddy classroom visits where older striving students mentor younger students, helping them build self-confidence, literacy skills, and community involvement. 

"READ 180 is an electronic-based reading intervention program that identifies and addresses individual student needs through differentiated instruction," Mr. McCormick said. "Since using this program, I have found it very easy to fit it in my literacy block due to its flexibility. The highlight of the READ 180 program is when we, as a class, celebrate student success, and I start to see confident readers."

"Hector is an incredibly dedicated fifth-grade teacher who works hard to know each of his students and their academic and personal needs," said Vicky Capestany, Literacy Facilitator at Lake Hills Elementary School. "Hector has taken an innovative approach with his use of the READ 180 program and dives deeply into the available data to create meaningful instruction decisions. He clearly outlines his learning plans and goals, collaborates widely, and makes powerful interpersonal connections, seeking out the expertise of his colleagues, student families, and students themselves."

READ 180 Stage B

WINNER: Trelawny Shepherd

Grapevine Middle School, Grapevine, Texas


Mrs. Shepherd teaches sixth to eighth grade students and is a strong believer that all children have the right to learn, be educated, and be loved. She fosters a classroom culture where students feel safe and comfortable and where their voices are heard and respected. Mrs. Shepherd is passionate about promoting growth mindset, perseverance, grit, and intrinsic motivation.

Using data from the READ 180 program coupled with district progress monitoring tools, Mrs. Shepherd  ensures that each student’s growth is celebrated and encouraged throughout his or her learning journey. Not only is she passionate about building her own professional development instruction practices, but she consistently shares key learnings with her READ 180 colleagues throughout the district by proactively noting the solutions and ideas that have worked well for her.

"My favorite part of teaching READ 180 is watching my students become advocates and owners of their learning," Mrs. Shepherd said. "There is nothing better than a student seeing and recognizing their own growth over a length of time. Their eyes light up, their smiles go wide, and for some, this is the first time they believe they can do great things."

READ 180 Stage C

WINNER: Nicole Krubski

Highland Park High School, Highland Park, New Jersey


A leader in the Highland Park School district for students and teachers using READ 180, Ms. Krubski  has developed and implemented strategies to meet the needs of different learners and is consistently responsive to the differing circumstances they face outside the classroom. Every child is important to Ms. Krubski, and as a teacher leader, she makes every effort to model for her colleagues how to support students and their families so every student can succeed socially and academically in the school environment.

Ms. Krubski sets clear expectations and communicates effectively, and her approachable disposition brings people together.

"Ms. Krubski is an outstanding educator who has a deep knowledge of educational practices and possesses the intellectual and social skills necessary for effective leadership," said Jennifer Knapp, Supervisor of Funded Programs and District Initiatives for Highland Park School district. "She serves as an instructional leader for her colleagues by regularly providing professional learning opportunities and coaching for the READ 180 program. Ms. Krubski’s goal is for all students to succeed and reach their potential, and it is evident in the data that her students rise to her expectations."

"I strive to make my classroom a place where my students will want to be," Ms. Krubski said. "If they have struggled through their educational career until they get to me, school is not a positive place for them. The only way to break that cycle is to be a different kind of classroom, and that is what READ 180 has allowed me to do."

MATH 180

WINNER: Dianne Booth

Lake Hamilton Middle School, Pearcy, Arkansas


Ms. Booth consistently goes above and beyond for her MATH 180 students. A passionate educator with a degree from the University of Central Arkansas and more than 13 years of experience, Ms. Booth is dedicated to improving the self-efficacy of her students by offering reassurance and advice on choices they make in and out of the classroom. As a result, her students receive not only sound instruction on their academic progression but also instruction on how to participate and work within the community.

“Using my marketing background, I am able to apply MATH 180 strategies to professional situations and my own personal experiences," Ms. Booth said. "We have challenging discussions, and it is rewarding to see these eager, young minds comprehending the importance of preparing for their future. I strive to make a positive impact on my students not only in the classroom but in their everyday lives."

Ms. Booth takes great pride in monitoring her students’ success. When a student is falling behind, she works with them individually until they demonstrate an understanding of the concept. Dianne urges students to come in before school or during lunch hour for more individualized instruction. 

"Ms. Booth always has a word of encouragement for each of her students every day, and this support continues when they graduate from the MATH 180 program," said Angie Gray, 6–12 Math Instructional Facilitator at the Lake Hamilton School District. "Our students know if they reach a certain Math Inventory score, they can switch from the MATH 180 class to another elective of their choice. Even when students obtain that score, many request to stay in the MATH 180 classroom because they are finally enjoying a math class, and that is attributed to Ms. Booth."

System 44

WINNER: Sandra Barcarolo 

Palmetto Ridge High School, Naples, Florida

An exceptional teacher and consummate advocate for her System 44 English learner students, Ms. Barcarolo fosters a classroom community where students feel comfortable to learn and take risks.

Ms. Barcarolo’s class represents 12 different countries. She takes the time to work individually with her students and promotes small-group instruction so she can provide immediate feedback while students learn collaboratively. She encourages her students to read their System 44 books out loud and records their presentations, so students and teacher colleagues can watch the videos as a learning experience.

The epitome of a professional educator, Ms. Barcarolo combines reading goals, classroom rigor, goal setting, and consistent constructive feedback with the ultimate binder: relationships, said Mr. Jon Bremseth, Principal of Palmetto Ridge High School. “Her students truly benefit from her ability and passion to make learning relevant and attainable. She is a tribute to the profession of education," he said.

"Ms. Barcarolo personalizes the education of each student to make it meaningful, impactful, and attainable. She truly embraces our school motto, which is 'one school, one family,'" said Ms. Kristen Gauly, Guidance Counselor Palmetto at Ridge High School. "This year, Ms. Barcarolo worked to get daily snacks for her students, worked on their needs, and granted each a wish. Some of those wishes included getting extra mentors, additional counseling, grief therapy, and even a washing machine to assist a family that was homeless."

"My philosophy as an educator has always been that students will not remember every single thing I taught them, but they will forever remember how I treated them," Ms. Barcarolo said. "Each year, I am determined to make my classroom a safe environment for students to learn, take risks, and gain confidence. My students are on a journey to graduation from the moment they enter my classroom and are the reason for my success as a teacher."

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And that's a wrap for this year's educator winners! We would like to again say a big thank you to all of those teachers and education leaders who shape students' lives every day. 

We also recently honored several students for their growth as learners in reading and math. View the 180 Award student winners here.

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