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Dickinson recipient of Karaffa award

June 8, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - Jennifer Dickinson is the 2012 recipient of the Joseph and Anna Marie Karaffa Award for Excellence in Education.

Dickinson is a physical education teacher and intervention specialist at Karaffa Elementary School. She holds a professional license for special needs, health and physical education. She has been a teacher in the Toronto City School District for eight years.

Dickinson graduated from Toronto High School in 1995. She graduated from West Liberty State College in December 2000 with a bachelor's degree in physical and health education in grades kindergarten through 12 followed in May of 2003 with a special education endorsement for the same grade levels. In 2006, she earned a master's degree in education from Marygrove College. She also has taken additional coursework through Muskingum University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Ohio University. In April of 2011, Dickinson was granted a continuing contract with Toronto City Schools.

According to her nomination, Dickinson used a variety of strategies to address pupils' and students' individual needs; organized her classroom to accommodate varying instructional levels; and is equally successful working in a traditional resource room or inclusion setting.

As a physical education teacher, Dickinson excels at incorporating physical education lessons that are pupil- and student- centered; allows students and pupils to be active; and emphasizes achievement of personal fitness goals, according to officials. Dickinson has demonstrated a willingness to share her experience and knowledge with other teachers through presentations at building in-services. She consistently seeks out opportunities to grow professionally by taking the initiative to research outside sources and best practices in her field, according to officials.

Dickinson and her husband, G.R., reside in Toronto. The couple have three children - Nolan, Russ and Josey, all who attend Toronto schools.

The Joseph and Anna Marie Karaffa Award for Excellence in Education is presented annually to a teacher or administrator active in Toronto City Schools. The award was established to recognize the efforts of an outstanding teacher or administrator for creating an environment where teaching and learning is valued. Past recipients have included Donna McCasland, 2011; Ellen Hughes, 2010; Mary Jo Kuhn, 2009; Lynda Glenn, 2008; Charlene Starr, 2007; Linda Blair, 2006; Linda Antonucci, 2005; Gary Fisher, 2004; Maureen Taggart, 2003; James Ray, 2002; Susan Buckham, 2001; Barbara Carter, 2000; Kirk George, 1999; and Barbara Pritts, 1998. Nominations for the award were accepted from students, teachers, administrators, parents and alumni.

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