The Beatrice Wand Polak Award recognizes the skill, vision and dedication of teachers in World ORT’s international network.
Teachers in Israel, the Former Soviet Union, South Africa, Argentina and Mexico have received $1,000 prizes after distinguishing themselves in the eyes of their peers.
Creativity and impact
Recipients include long-serving staff members such as Anna Michurina, Director of the ORT Resource and Technology Centre in Odessa (Ukraine). Her efforts have created a highly effective ICT and Technology team at the city’s ORT school resulting in students who regularly gain top places at regional and international olympiads.
“Anna combines top level pedagogical competency with strong management skills,” said ORT Russia Director Dr Sergey Gorinskiy. “She is creative and always completes projects successfully.”
Other recipients are fairly new to ORT, such as Yair Xolalpa, who joined CIM-ORT School in Mexico City less than two years ago and quickly proved to be a dynamic and innovative force in the development of robotics and technology programmes from kindergarten up.
“The substantial changes he has made in the school and the way our students learn and use science and technology have been absolutely outstanding,” said CIM-ORT Principal Avi Meir.
His colleague at CIM-ORT, Isaac Cerrillo, also won in recognition for the way he has changed students’ and teachers’ use of technology so that they see it as an important resource in any subject.
There were also multiple winners at two Israeli schools affiliated to World ORT – Galil Maravi High School and Rogozin Junior High School. In the former, the MAOF team won for leading the implementation of inter-disciplinary teaching of the humanities; while at Rogozin, staff taking part in its Katom programme won for excelling in the development of learning materials which make full use of innovative technology.
Recognition leads to motivation
The Award is not only recognition for past accomplishments, it’s a motivator for future ones.
Constance Motsiri Dipuo is Head of the Maths Department at Realogile Secondary School in Johannesburg where she has impressed staff at ORT South Africa for the leadership and commitment she has shown in implementing the organisation’s maths and ICT project.
“I’ve learned a lot through the initiatives of ORT South Africa and I will continue to learn and ensure that every effort directed at me is utilized to the utmost benefit of the pupils and the community,” she said. “With this award I will be able to further my dream of promoting best practice in teaching… It takes a village to raise a child but if you empower a teacher you empower a nation.”
Look out for full profiles of these and other Wand Polak Award winners over coming weeks.