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Eveline Wright is American Legion’s Teacher of the Year 2018-2019

Eveline Wright was nominated and selected by The Department of The State of Florida American Legion for school year 2018-2019. August started a new year and many new students will experience the excellent teaching techniques she has mastered.
Mrs. Eveline Wright started her career in education in 2001, working as a paraprofessional while seeking her degree in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). She served as a paraprofessional in Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grades. Mrs. Wright continued her education, graduating from Barry University (with honors) in 2005. She then moved to the Trenton area that same summer and taught two years of self-contained Pre-K in Alachua County. Wanting to work closer to home, she accepted a position at Bell Elementary School teaching 3rd grade until 2014. After eight years at Bell Elementary, she transferred to Bell Middle School teaching 6th grade reading for two years, before moving to Bell High School where she currently teaches reading to special needs high school students.
In 2012 Mrs. Wright was voted Bell Elementary Teacher of The Year by her peers. In addition to teaching her regular scheduled classes, she served as Chorus Director for the Elementary School and enjoyed preparing the students for the their Annual Veterans Day performance at Bell High School. Taking tremendous pride in those performances, she helped raise funds to provide uniforms with military beret style hats for her chorus students. She even taught them cadences and “Jody Calls” stating, “I love military cadences and so did the students. They not only helped my chorus student’s ability to stay on beat, but they were an excellent team building activity.” Always the teacher, she went beyond teaching the chorus students to sing, but more importantly Mrs. Wright took time to teach the elementary students the history of Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day, instilling in them a deference and respect for the members of our Armed Forces.
Mrs. Wright brings passion for her subject and a love of learning to her classroom. She makes a daily difference in the lives of her students. She has a gift in being able to connect not only with her students, but with children in general. Always the consummate professional, she continues to learn and develop her own knowledge and skills.
Mrs. Wright seeks out workshops or courses as she continuously works to improve professionally stating that, “Teaching is an ever evolving process” that requires efforts for continuous professional development in order to bring current evidence based instructional practices to the classroom. Mrs. Wright researches resources online ranging in topics from technology, time management, to instructional games and activities that enliven and enrich curriculum. She also makes efforts to connect with other teachers outside of her geographical area to gain understanding about current educational initiatives and best practices being applied elsewhere.
Her classroom instruction flows smoothly not by happenstance; Mrs. Wright sets obtainable and clear classroom expectations including how students treat others in her class. As a mentor, she models the behavior she wants to reinforce, while simultaneously keeping a sense of humor. She has developed classroom management tools to help deal with problem behaviors or head them off before they start. More importantly, she establishes positive and supportive relationships with her students providing them with a safe learning environment where students feel confidence in approaching tasks and collaborative classroom discussion.
Furthermore, she understands how children learn and utilizes different approaches to help students succeed. She fully understands that engaged students are more likely to get something out of their lessons. Mrs. Wright also knows when it is appropriate to bring in games and activities to maintain student engagement, while continuing to focus on core topics and key learning objectives.
Moreover, Mrs. Wright adapts her daily instruction to meet the specific needs of each student in her class. She has an uncanny ability to fluidly adapt to schedule changes, instructional shifts and other unexpected situations within the school and classroom, while always maintaining student learning at the forefront of her responsibilities. She also recognizes the importance of adapting when a lesson doesn’t go as planned, “Flexibility in teaching is essential. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out, the students don’t always get it and that’s ok, it’s my job to change it until they do get it.” She is dedicated to her craft and strives to bring her best each day to her class, while concurrently taking steps to stay recharged and maintain an energetic and lively pace throughout the day.
Bottom Line: Mrs. Wright is an exceptional instructor because her philosophy of education encompasses placing students’ needs first. She takes the time to learn about and address her student’s needs, sets an attainable path for them to succeed, and establishes positive and supportive relationships that last beyond that classroom and well into their adult years. She understands the pressures and demands placed on young people today and strives to support them in whatever way possible including showing up at ACT testing sites to ‘cheer on’ her students before testing, bringing them snacks, pencils and water cheerfully reminding them that, “A healthy brain needs to stay hydrated!” She often receives emails or phone calls from students that have graduated asking for help with college assignments, or advice on how to choose the right career path. Most recently, she enjoys getting photos and updates of her first “grand-students.”
One doesn’t typically associate Soldiers or Service Members as ‘students’, but in fact that is exactly what they are, ‘trainees’. With that said, Mrs. Wright consistently sends supplies to deployed soldiers overseas, as well as those attending boot camp/basic training. She sends stamps, pens, paper, snacks and even Kinesiology therapeutic tapes to help them better understand how their body’s bio-mechanics work to reach their maximum physical capabilities. She has attended numerous military events of her own family members, such as attending her nephew’s Basic Training Graduation at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. While he was a trainee, she wrote him three times a week from the day he started until the day he graduated. He has since saved each and every one of those letters stating, “Those letters kept me going”. Each letter included encouraging words for him and his platoon. Mrs. Wright always ended each letter with a Vince Lombardi quote and a big HOOAH! She enjoys sending words of support and correspondence to prior students in the Armed Forces, especially those in basic training stating, “For many of them, it’s their first time away from home. It’s not easy and they need support from home.”
As for patriotism, Mrs. Eveline Wright’s ethnicity may be of Latin origin but she is quick to state, “My heart bleeds red, white and blue!”

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