2008 OYEA Winner Keeps Busy

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Deirdra Grode, a middle school language arts and social studies teacher in Hoboken, N.J., has been busy since ASCD named her the 2008 Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA) winner this past spring. She’s participating in ASCD’s Emerging Leaders Program, has signed on as an Educator Advocate, and is serving on the Annual Conference Planning Committee.

Grode’s selection as the OYEA winner and her teaching accomplishments have been featured in numerous articles and television programs. In May she participated in a live panel discussion on the U.S. Department of Education’s public television program, Education News Parents Can Use. During the show, “High Performing Teachers: Leading Students to Success in the 21st Century,” Grode and the other teacher panelists were asked how they motivate students, why accountability is important, and what makes a teacher effective.

Grode’s belief is that if educators set high expectations, students will work to achieve—and even surpass—those expectations. She also feels that service learning motivates students because it adds relevance to the curriculum, provides students with an authentic audience, and helps students make their voices heard.

Grode was recently featured in the above ASCD video about the OYEA program. She says, “I think that every person wants to make a difference in the world and in their community … as teachers we have a unique opportunity to do that on a day-to-day basis.”

Do you know a young educator with Grode’s spirit and proven classroom results? Here at Inservice, we encourage you to go the OYEA Web page to nominate that outstanding young educator for the 2009 award. Nominations are due August 1, 2008.