HMH Honors Five Amazing Educators for Making a Difference in Students' Lives

During the 2019–2020 school year, educators faced obstacles that were both unexpected and unprecedented. The transition to remote learning and the uncertainty educators encountered (and continue to face) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has made the job all the more challenging.

At HMH, we have a tradition of honoring you—the amazing educators who have demonstrated that it's never too late to open new doors to students' academic success, whether you're in a physical classroom or teaching remotely. More than ever, you have exemplified unwavering dedication and helped students overcome personal and academic obstacles. With that, we're announcing five 180 Educator Award winners, nominated by their colleagues and peers, who have shown that through persistence and dedication, you can make a difference in students' lives and help them grow as learners.

HMH is honoring educators who used one of our blended intervention learning programs—READ 180, System 44, or MATH 180 —in their classroom or school during 2019–2020. The winners will receive an Amazon Gift Card and a classroom library to extend their independent reading station, and will be invited to partner at future HMH-sponsored events.

Learn more about the Educator Winners below!

180 Educator Award Winners

Natalie Mikula (READ 180 Stage A Educator)

Ferris Intermediate School, Ferris, Texas

Natalie is a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher in Ferris, Texas, who describes READ 180 as fascinating and credits it with helping her make a huge difference in her students’ lives. For example, one of her fourth-grade students started with a 448 Lexile score and improved to 890 by the end of fifth grade, bringing that student to grade-level proficiency! Natalie’s students really enjoy the topics and how she extends their learning to make real-life connections by introducing them to experiences that relate to what is being taught. As an added layer of encouragement, she has found success in offering incentives for hard work, growing her students into lifelong readers.

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Christie Wootton (READ 180 Stage B Educator)

Kingwood Middle School, Kingwood, Texas

Christie, a READ 180 teacher from Kingwood, Texas, has 23 years of teaching experience and has been her middle school’s READ 180 teacher for the past eight years. She celebrates students’ growth in the program by presenting weekly and monthly awards. She has also found success in furthering students’ learning beyond the classroom. Last year, after a unit on inspiring young adults, her students organized and successfully orchestrated a campus toy drive in conjunction with a local ministry. Students collected almost 300 toys that were distributed to families in need during the holiday season.

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Amber Gorrell (READ 180 Stage C Educator)

Summerville High School, Summerville, South Carolina

Amber, a ninth- and tenth-grade READ 180 teacher from Summerville, South Carolina, credits data conferencing and building trust as key methods of success in her classroom. By regularly checking in with students, going over their progress, and celebrating their wins, she’s seen substantial improvement across her class. One of her ninth-grade students, who openly admitted to hating reading, grew hundreds of points and tested out of READ 180 but elected to return to the class to continue growing her skills. A year and a half later, she left the program as an honor student. Amber loves to share these successes with her students and their families and is honored to be a READ 180 teacher.

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Terry Fuciarelli (System 44 Educator)

Corporate Landing Middle School, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Terry, a middle school System 44 teacher in Virginia Beach, Virginia, believes she can help any student who comes into her classroom, and the Lexile growth and success she has fostered are evidence of that. While Terry's amazing classroom environment, diligent use of data, and consistent student growth are remarkable, it is her sincere compassion for her students that’s most notable. Terry’s classroom has not only been a model for teachers who are new to the program, but she’s also opened her doors to several surrounding divisions looking to begin their intervention literacy program. Her genuine empathy and continued success are a model for all teachers and administrators looking to make a true impact.

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Gavin Beglin (MATH 180 Educator)

La Vista High School, Fullerton, California

Gavin is referred to as the “MATH 180 Guru” of his district, and rightfully so. As a high school teacher in Yorba Linda, California, Gavin has been helping ELD, at-risk, and Special Education students achieve math success for nearly a decade. He began working with MATH 180 in its earliest days and has brought his growth mindset and “can do” attitude to every class and student he teaches. His students always rise to the top of the district’s MATH 180 classes in terms of their gains, but Gavin’s contributions don’t stop there. His positive attitude and energy in the classroom consistently motivate his students, and he extends that energy to his fellow teachers. To his peers, Gavin is a reliable, constant source of help and guidance to ensure they are getting the most out of the program.

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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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