COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Every year, Local 10′s Tribute to Teachers campaign recognizes the best educators in South Florida, with only five honorees selected from hundreds of nominations.
Mary Doda was chosen because she scores high with her gifted students at Tradewinds Elementary in Coconut Creek, where she’s been a teacher for seven years.
“She always has a way of making that little extra spark in learning,” said student Stefania Glantzis.
“Every single day it’s just filled with fun,” added fellow student Avery Bavaro.
Parents also sing Doda’s praises — including those who know a thing or two about stimulating young minds.
Lisa Bavaro is a fellow teacher at the school and the mother of a student.
“Mrs. Doda is an inspiration to me as a teacher,” she said. “My daughter has been in her class for two years and she comes home every day just excited about learning.”
That’s because Doda challenges her students using innovative technology and hands-on learning experiences.
For example, she planted a vegetable garden at the school with her students to teach them the principle of sowing and reaping, along with the value of sharing.
The vegetables they harvested last year were used to make salsa, and they donated food baskets to a local residential facility for children and families.
The recognition from the Tribute to Teachers campaign comes with a $1,000 gift card from Publix Super Markets.
On Monday, Local 10 honored James Bryant of Hialeah Gardens High School.
The three other teachers selected this year will be announced during the 5 p.m. Local 10 newscasts Wednesday through Friday.