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2009 Bill Ellis Award Winner

Evelyn Rivera, M.Ed.
Professional Development Resource Teacher
School District of Lee County, Florida

Evelyn Rivera has had the privilege to work with struggling learners for the past sixteen years. Her classes consisted of English language learners, students with disabilities, and struggling readers and writers. She treated these unique groups of students as an opportunity to discover their strengths and to take them to the highest levels of success. The well-proportioned blend of research-based curriculum and materials and knowledge of how students learn guided her instruction every day. Her students' success in the classroom and in standardized tests is proof that all students can learn despite their learning abilities and linguistic proficiency. In her own word, "I held their hands throughout the path, but I never walked the path for them. I helped them discover new knowledge, facilitated the mastery of learning strategies, and most important, I made sure they believed in themselves as much as I believed in them."

Evelyn Rivera, M.Ed. receives the
2009 Bill Ellis Award from
NCLD Board member, Drake D. Duane, M.D.

For the last nine years, Evelyn has served School District of Lee County, Florida as a trainer/facilitator of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses through Staff Development. The training opportunities have allowed her to exchange valuable educational insights with her colleagues. This exchange of communication invigorated her teaching with new ideas, sound classroom practices, and effective strategies. In addition, the courses allow her to facilitate new knowledge to teachers that seek the state-mandated ESOL endorsement.