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Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Awards to Be Presented at The TMA Annual

CHICAGO – The Turnaround Management Association (TMA) will present the Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Award to two educators at The 2017 TMA Annual on October 23 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. 

This year’s recipients are Meghan Hess Shamdasani, a high school science teacher at SouthTech Academy in Boynton Beach, Florida, and Bertha Vazquez, a science and French teacher at George Washington Carver Middle School in Miami, Florida. 

Established in 2004 with a grant from the John Wm. Butler Foundation, Inc., the Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Awards Program honors teachers who have demonstrated their capacity to change the outcome of students’ lives and the communities where they teach. The program is named in honor of Leslie Bender Butler and Cindy Butler Cooley, relatives of a past TMA chairman who collectively have spent more than 50 years as teachers, and recognizes the central role that teaching has in the life of the association.

Meghan Hess Shamdasani 
As the founder of SouthTech Academy’s grant writing committee, Meghan Hess Shamdasani has helped the school receive $67,000 in awards and in-kind donations. The equipment obtained through these grants is crucial to providing Shamdasani’s students with the critical thinking skills required for all college majors and will prepare her students for success in a multitude of career fields. 

SouthTech Academy is ranked in the top five schools for performance in science and Shamdasani’s students score higher on their state end-of-course assessments than any other Title I school in the school district. 

Read more about Shamdasani here
Bertha Vazquez 
Bertha Vazquez understands and promotes the importance of making real-world connections for the students who enter her classroom in addition to seeking out professional growth opportunities for herself and her colleagues. 

Vazquez was one of the first teachers to receive National Board Certification in Miami-Dade County through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and she worked there for 10 years. Because of her influence within the organization, George Washington Carver Middle School received a total of $30,000 for being used as a Portfolio Assessment Site for two years. 

The effect Vazquez has had on students is evident in the testimonials submitted on her behalf. A group of eight graders went as far as naming a star after her calling it “Vazquez’s Light.”

Read more about Vazquez here