Press Release for Thursday, April 19, 2012
UNF Presents Duval County Teachers 2012 Gladys Prior Awards
Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
Four Jacksonville teachers will be surprised in their classrooms Thursday, April 19, with the 2012 Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching Excellence. These awards, administered by the UNF College of Education and Human Services, were established in 1998 by Gilchrist Berg, founder and president of Water Street Capital. Since 1998, Berg has given 60 Jacksonville teachers $740,000. Each winner will receive $15,000.
The 2012 winners are Pamela Farrell, Jacksonville Beach Elementary School; Todd Tinsley, Wolfson High School; Tracy Langley, Hendricks Avenue Elementary School; and Kimberly Bloor, Kernan Trail Elementary School.
Pamela Farrell teaches math, science and social studies to second-graders at Jacksonville Beach Elementary School. Her students dissect owl pellets and pig hearts in her science classes. They create art and math projects as well as learn about diversity by exploring their family histories and dressing dolls in costumes typical of their family heritage. A former student who entered first grade with almost no reading skills credits Farrell for not giving up on her. “If I hadn’t had Ms. Farrell, I don’t know where I would be today. By the end of first grade, I was reading multiple chapter books at one time and couldn’t get enough of them.”
Todd Tinsley teaches English at Wolfson High School and is also the athletic director. He runs his classes like a sports team, and every student knows that success is the only option. He literally coaches his students to think. Former student Joseph Toby, now 21, was 15 when he came to America from West Africa. He was abandoned by his original guardians; however, Tinsley took Toby under his wing and found him a new home and tutors. With Tinsley’s support, Toby went on to become a college athlete.
Tracy Langley, who teaches third grade at Hendricks Avenue Elementary, is known as a time magician since she seems to fit more in a day that anyone else. She works before school, after school and in snatches of time throughout the day to coach struggling learners. She is called a dream weaver who gives her students no option to fail.
Langley creates a family of learners. One of her students who had an “I can’t do it” attitude in math turned the corner when Langley gave the girl a mantra: “I can do it” (growl), “I can do it” (growl).” The student began to improve and went on to score a 5 out of 6 on FCAT math.
Kimberly Bloor teaches third grade at Kernan Trail Elementary. When her principal, Pearl Roziers, needed a classroom for two challenging students who were repeaters, she placed them in Bloor’s class. She eagerly accepted them and started changing their negative attitudes toward school. She said she would love them into success, and she did. The next year, one student made A/B honor roll for the first time in his life. A former student said, “Ms. Bloor has a rare passion for children and teaching. I credit her with teaching me to read, write, and love literature. She cares for her students, follows their lives and becomes a lifelong friend.”
For more information about the awards, contact Lynne Raiser, UNF instructor in the College of Education and Human Services, at (353) 359-3436 or at