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Wellington’s Dr. Evangeline Aguirre Honored As Teacher Of The Year Story by Julie Unger • Photos by Jack Lowenstein

Palm Beach Central High School teacher Dr. Evangeline Aguirre got the surprise of her life recently when Palm Beach County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa, Palm Beach County School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw and School Board Member Marcia Andrews showed up at her school to honor her as the county’s teacher of the year. “I was shocked. I was totally shocked,” Aguirre said of the Tuesday, Feb. 28 surprise. “When my assistant principal got me from the classroom, she said I was attending an emergency meeting.” Looking around, she thought, “This seems serious.” And it was. She was receiving a serious recognition. Aguirre was chosen from more than 13,000 teachers in the Palm Beach County School District for the recognition and will represent the district in statewide competition.

Also on hand for the big surprise was PBCHS Principal Darren Edgecomb and Aguirre’s husband, Stan Crooks, as well as dozens of her students and faculty colleagues. Aguirre specializes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and has been at Palm Beach Central for nine years. “It was an overwhelming emotion, but more than anything else, it’s a humbling, humbling experience,” she said. “I’m the president of Palm Beach ESOL... I know a whole lot of ESOL

(Below) Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa announces Dr. Evangeline Aguirre as teacher of the year.

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june 2017 | wellington the magazine

teachers, and teachers in different subject areas, who really are great, truly excellent, and they deliver to the best of their abilities every day in the classroom. For me to be chosen is truly an honor.” Nevertheless, Aguirre is grateful that her efforts and dedication were recognized. For Edgecomb, who nominated Aguirre, it was gratifying to see one of his teachers receive the coveted award. “After observing for the last couple of years, I found her to be the ‘irreplaceable.’ She’s one of those teachers who, if she left, it would take years to find someone at her level of greatness,” Edgecomb said. “She’s a passionate educator, she loves teaching and she has a story to tell, being a person who migrated from the Philippines. She represents the American dream for those ELL (English Language Learners) or ESOL kids she educates. It’s the reading classes that she teaches, and I believe that reading drives everything here at the school. Having a school with literacy as the focus is extremely important, and she does this with kids who are acquiring the language.” Aguirre previously received recognition as reading teacher of the year, and her portfolio made her a strong candidate for teacher of the year. “When she was selected, I was just overjoyed. I felt that it was well-de-

Wellington The Magazine June 2017  

June 2017 | ON THE COVER Palm Beach County Teacher of the Year Dr. Evangeline Aguirre. PHOTO COURTESY STUDIO ONE TO ONE PHOTOGRAPHY | TO PRE...

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