Stations Reach Out to Innovative Teachers

Assistant Principal Erik Hermansen,
Joanne Urofsky, general manager of WUSF,
Eric Johnson and three of his students.
This article authored by Tamera Bogusky, PBS Content Mgr, PreK-12 Ed.  

PBS and its member stations recently announced the winners of the 2011 PBS Teachers Innovation Awards in recognition of the educators’ creative and inventive use of public media to engage students and improve learning. Sponsored by The Henry Ford and SMART Technologies, the second annual PBS Teachers Innovation Awards honors teachers who continuously strive to inspire young minds and cultivate the nation’s next generation of innovators and leaders. First place was awarded to the top 12 educators, one from each of twelve subject and grade-level groupings, and 28 educators were selected as second place winners. All winning entries can be viewed

In the weeks following the announcement, numerous PBS stations connected with the Innovation Award winners in their communities to both congratulate them and plan for how they can work together to encourage the utilization of public digital media and innovative teaching practices in classrooms. Below are just a few local stories of collaboration and celebration.

UNC-TV, North Carolina
Barry Richard Barber: 1st Place winner for Preschool/Elementary Health

Diane Lucas, Director of Programming and Educational Services for UNC-TV, attended the South Asheboro Middle School's end of year awards assembly where she presented Barry Barber with his PBS Teachers Innovation Award desktop plaque and lapel pin and a tote bag of UNC-TV items and educational resources. The whole school was gathered, and their Principal Anne Carol Grant and their Superintendent Diane Crist also were present. UNC-TV has also invited Barry to be a newsmaker on their nightly news magazine show, “North Carolina Now.” You can view Barry’s entry

WFSU, Florida
Brenda Branch: 2nd Place winner for Preschool/Elementary Science

Kim Kelling Engstrom, Director of Educational Services for WFSU, interviewed 2nd place Innovation Award winner Brenda Branch for WFSU’s local community affairs program called “Dimensions.” Brenda also taped a “Support WFSU” spot and was interviewed by radio station WFSU-FM.  Kim reports that Senator Bill Nelson happened to be listening and is planning to contact Brenda directly to congratulate her as well. You can view Brenda’s entry

WUSF, Florida
Eric Johnson: 2nd Place winner for Middle/High Social Studies

This year WUSF Public Media was proud to be the “home” station for PBS Teachers Innovation Awards winner, Eric Johnson – an Advanced Placement history teacher at Fivay High School in Hudson, Florida. WUSF’s General Manager, JoAnn Urofsky, visited the school to present an award letter to Mr. Johnson and special certificates for three of his students who contributed to the project. In addition, they received WUSF tote bags with DVDs, books and other items. Assistant principal Erik Hermansen, teacher Rose Santiago and members of the media were also in attendance for the presentations. With an invitation from Ms. Urofsky, Mr. Johnson and a dozen of his students came to tour the WUSF Public Media facilities where they shot a “My Source” spot in the studio. Mr. Johnson acknowledged that many of his students come from low socio-economic homes, and the opportunity to visit WUSF on the University of South Florida campus was their first-ever trip to a university. He added that without the invitation, these students would never have experienced the inner workings of a television and radio station. You can view Eric’s entry

KOCE / PBS SoCal, California
Jo-Ann Goldenberg: 1st Place winner for Preschool/Elementary Social Studies
Danna Lomax:  2nd Place winner for Middle/High Health

PBS SoCal and its Director of Education, Jamie Annunzio, will be honoring two PBS Teachers Innovation Award Winners locally. 1st place winner Jo-Ann Goldenberg and 2nd Place winner Danna Lomax will be presented with their awards and prizes at the PBS SoCal studios at the end of June. Both teachers will then be interviewed about the amazing projects and initiatives happening in classrooms on Real Orange, PBS SoCal's local news show. Each teacher's winning video will be shown and the teachers will be invited to talk about winning the award and how PBS content helps them innovate in their classrooms. You can view Jo-Ann’s entry and Danna’s entry

WSKG, New York
Keith Rosko: 1st Place winner for Middle/High Arts

Chenango Forks Central School District Superintendent Robert Bundy recently kicked off a packed School Board meeting with the announcement that Chenango Forks High School teacher Keith Rosko was a first place winner in the 2011 PBS Teachers Innovation Awards. Mr. Bundy shared the video clip of Keith’s entry and highlighted that Keith would be working locally with WSKG to promote his accomplishment and share his innovation to inspire other educators in the region.  WSKG Director of Education & Outreach, Jackie Stapleton, interviewed Keith and his family, art students, and administration, and plans to showcase Keith in the July issue of WSKG's education newsletter. You can view Keith’s entry

We’d love to hear how your station has connected with the 2011 PBS Teachers Innovation Award winners. Please email Tamera Bogusky at with your story or leave a comment below.

This article authored by Tamera Bogusky, PBS Content Mgr, PreK-12 Ed.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Guys - Great work as usual. I was a little freaked out to see my cousin's picture on the PBS SPI blog though. Go Erik!

    -Dan McCoy