School District honors outstanding teachers and administrators
by Sonia Giebel
The School District of Philadelphia presented Susan Lee, an 11th-grade math teacher at the Academy of Palumbo, with the Teacher of the Year award on Wednesday night. Lee, in her fourth year at Palumbo, beat out 12 other nominees from around the District and will receive $2,500.
"I owe everything to my students and my colleagues,” Lee said. She also stressed the support she’s received from her principal, Dr. Adrienne Wallace-Chew, whom she describes as her “No. 1 fan from day one.”
Lee’s fellow teacher at Palumbo, Jade Tuff, noted Lee’s commitment to women in science. Lee supports Women in Engineering and Science and has local professors come to Palumbo to engage with her students. Additionally, she independently hosts a fair for middle school students to cultivate female interest in the sciences at an early age.
Held at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, the ceremony also awarded the Dr. Marcus Foster award to Dana Jenkins, an assistant principal at Roxborough High School and a National Board Certified teacher. This award honors an administrator who has made a “noteworthy contribution in curriculum, instruction, school improvement, or administration.” Jenkins, who will take over as principal of Roxborough next year after the departure of Stephen Brandt, will also receive $2,500.
Joseph Bahm, the principal of Solis-Cohen Elementary, won the Robert Poindexter award and $2,500. The District introduced the Poindexter award this year to specifically recognize elementary school principals. Solis-Cohen is known for its commitment to diversity.
Thirteen additional teachers were honored with the Rose Lindenbaum award. Nadijah Campbell won the Richard and Peggy Greenfield Scholarship, awarded by the Delaware Valley Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and $1,000.
Additionally, the District awarded the Life Scholarship, valued at $1,000, to 10 graduating seniors “who have overcome adversity” and demonstrate strong “leadership ability and academic promise,” and recognized 17 recent parent graduates from Peirce College.
Sonia Giebel is an intern at the Notebook.