The Walt Disney Company Announces 2002 Disney’s American Teacher Awards Honorees

BURBANK, Calif.- The Walt Disney Company today announced the selection of 32 teachers as honorees for the 2002 Disney’s American Teacher Awards. This award honors representatives of the teaching profession who construct creative learning environments in which students and teachers alike explore, imagine and engage in a variety of thought-provoking experiences. These honorees were selected from more than 185,000 nominations submitted by students, parents, educators and community members representing all regions of the country.

The 32 honorees (see finalists’ names below), chosen by a national committee of distinguished educators, are nominated in one of 10 teaching categories. One finalist will be selected in each category and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year will be chosen from among the 10 finalists. The 10 teaching categories include:

* Elementary: Early Childhood, Primary and Intermediate
* Middle School/Junior High: The Sciences and The Humanities
* High School: The Sciences and The Humanities
* Kindergarten through 12th Grade: The Arts, Special Needs & Gifted Education, and Wellness & Sports
The Walt Disney Company will award $25,000 to the Outstanding Teacher of the Year, with the Outstanding Teacher’s school receiving $10,000. All 32 honorees will receive $10,000 each, with their respective schools receiving $5,000. The 10 category finalists will receive an additional $5,000 each.

“Our nation’s teachers and their creativity are an integral component in making a positive impact on our nation’s future,” said Michael D. Eisner, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “Disney’s American Teacher Awards is one way to recognize those whose dedication and devotion educate and help shape our nation’s children. It is our honor to honor them.”

In addition to the awards ceremony and monetary contributions, honorees will participate in a unique professional development program focused on innovative approaches to teaching and learning and leadership development. The teachers and their principals will attend a workshop in October 2003 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., where they will learn how to share their creative teaching practices, and also develop an action plan focused on improving professional collaboration and teacher learning in their schools during the 2003-2004 school year.

The honorees were chosen by a selection committee comprised of representatives of the following organizations: American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, The Council for American Private Education, Council for Exceptional Children, Council of Great City Schools, The Galef Institute, Harvard University’s Project Zero, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, National Middle School Association, National PTA. In addition, past Disney’s American Teacher Awards Honorees serve on the selection committee.

Disney’s American Teacher Awards is part of DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, whose mission is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through focused public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in areas including learning, compassion, the arts and the environment. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit our Web site at

2002 Honorees for Disney’s American Teacher Awards

Early Childhood
* Mr. Randy Heite
, Kingsley Elementary, Chicago; Kindergarten
* Mrs. Pauline Jacroux, Aikahi Elementary, Kailua, Hawaii; 1st Grade
* Mrs. Pam Johnson, Koliganek School, Koliganek, Alaska; Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
* Mr. Dano Beal
, Lafayette Elementary School, Seattle; 2nd Grade Gifted
* Mrs. Rosanne Pettignano-Kirchmann, St. Barnabas Elementary, Bronx, N.Y.; 2nd Grade
* Miss Pamela Roller, Galveston Elementary School, Galveston, Ind.; 2nd Grade
* Mrs. Cecelia Lucero
, Laguna Elementary School, Laguna Pueblo, N.M.; 4th Grade
* Mrs. Gail McGoogan, Narcoossee Community School, St. Cloud, Fla.; 4th Grade
* Mr. John Pieper, Webster Stanley Elementary School, Oshkosh, Wis.; 5th Grade

Middle School/Junior High
Science and Math
* Ms. Patricia Dick
, Blatchley Middle School, Sitka, Alaska; 6th Grade
* Mr. Jack Joyce, Pretty Eagle Catholic School, St. Xavier, Mont.; 5th-8th Grades
* Mr. Mark Weaver, Clay Junior High School, Indianapolis; 7th-8th Grades
The Humanities
* Mrs. Janice Daubenmier & Mrs. Debby Kent
, Hastings Middle School, Columbus, Ohio; Language Arts/History Team
* Mr. Davy Meister, Martin Meylin Middle School, Lampeter, Pa.; Language Arts
* Mrs. Roxane Rollins, Roosevelt Middle School, Oceanside, Calif.; Core Humanities, Literature

High School
Science and Math
* Mrs. Celeste Ball
, Kutztown High School, Kutztown, Pa.; Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Horticulture, Food Sciences
* Ms. Julie Joyner, Palm Beach Lakes Community High School, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Medical Choice Programs
* Ms. Sherri Steward-Ganz, Grapevine High School, Grapevine, Texas; Biology, Environmental Systems, Adv. Ecology
The Humanities
* Mrs. Kerry Demers
, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson, Ariz.; AP World Literature, English, Shakespeare
* Dr. Penny Ferguson & Mr. Mark White, Maryville High School, Maryville, Tenn.; English & History Team
* Mr. Daniel Moran, East Brunswick High School, Kendall Park, N.J.; American Literature, Creative Writing, Shakespeare

Kindergarten through 12th Grade
The Arts
* Mrs. Margaret Elder
, Anaheim High School, Anaheim, Calif.; High School Dance
* Mr. Tim Flinchbaugh, Standing Stone Elementary / Jackson Miller Elementary, Huntingdon, Pa.; Elementary Music
* Ms. Connie Rohde-Stanchfield, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Santa Ynez, Calif.; High School Visual Arts
Special Education
* Ms. Marianne Marsh
, Marlton Charter School, Los Angeles; Middle Students who are deaf & hard of hearing
* Mrs. Barbara McLaughlin, Chebanse Elementary, Chebanse, Ill.; Elementary students with varying exceptionalities
* Mrs. Wendy Miller, James W. Smith Elementary School, Cove City, N.C.; Elementary students who are Mentally Disabled
Wellness & Sports
* Mrs. Pam Atkins
, Will Davis Elementary, Austin, Texas; Elementary Physical Education
* Mrs. Judith Griffin, Morton Jr. High School, Morton, Ill.; Middle School Health & Computer Science
* Dr. John R. Passarini, Wayland Public Schools, Wayland, Mass.; Adapted Physical Education, Pre-Kindergarten – Adult age students