Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Who is Teaching our Children?

The Fifth Grade Team; Nancy Embree, Lynn Hoffman, Mabel Peña and Ed Laudise in front of the newly installed electric sign. Photo by Val Simon

The Fifth Grade Team; Nancy Embree, Lynn Hoffman, Mabel Peña and Ed Laudise in front of the newly installed electric sign. Photo by Val Simon

By Val Simon

Fifth grade is the last year of school for students at Tommie Barfield Elementary. In addition to concentrating on their studies for the year, teachers begin to prepare the students for life at the middle school level and beyond. As an example, students rotate classes, going from room to room for different subjects. Each of the fifth grade teachers instructs every 5th grade level student in their specialty (math, science, social studies or language arts) in addition to having their own homeroom class. With interims going home soon and Collier Writes testing on March 1 and 2, the students have a lot on their plates as they approach the end of the third quarter. State testing, which is Florida Comprehensive Assessment Testing, or FCAT for short, begins on April 11 and continues through April 15 in Reading, Math and Science for fifth grade students. SAT 10 testing, a norm-referenced test, will be given on April 28. Graduation is just around the corner. We have seen through this series on the faculty exactly why Tommie Barfield Elementary rates as a Florida Grade A school year in and year out!

Fifth Grade Teachers

Mabel Pe?a, Team Leader

Mabel has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master’s of Science in Reading from FIU. For 18 years, she has taught First through Sixth. She also worked for Dade County Public Schools as a Curriculum Specialist, Reading Specialist and an “i -Coach.” Her favorite pastimes are scrap-booking and reading a good book by the pool. Mabel has been married for 27 years and has a son who is a senior at FGCU this year. Mabel loves teaching and feels it is a new adventure each day. She teaches her class that (solve a problem or reach a goal), you must have a clear idea of the problem or the goal you want to reach. She encourages her students not to be afraid of making mistakes or of failure. She reminds them that we learn from our failures – if we’re not failing, we’re not growing.

Lynn Hoffman

Lynn Hoffman graduated from the Florida Atlantic University where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She has taught elementary level grades from First through Fifth. This is her 40th year teaching! Her hobbies include reading, sewing, cooking and gardening. Lynn has three dogs, a Yorkie named Zoe, another named Daisy and a toy Schnauzer named Charlie. This summer she is expecting her second grandchild. Lynn’s philosophy for her students: “Do your best at whatever you choose to do and try to do something nice for somebody every day.”

Ed Laudise

Ed Laudise went to St. Michael’s College in Vermont where he graduated with degrees in history and education. He then attended Barry University in Florida where he earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Besides teaching 5th grade this year, Ed has taught Second and Third grades for one year and spent 15 years designing and implementing programs for children. One project raised the high school graduation rate from 50% to 90%. Ed’s hobbies include sailing, bicycle riding, swimming and reading. Last year, he rode his bicycle a total of 4,045 miles! He loves teaching at Tommie Barfield Elementary and loves the students. His favorite motto is, “Whatever it Takes.”

Nancy Embree

Nancy went to college in Springfield, Massachusetts where she graduated with a BS in Elementary Education. She has Math Endorsements for grades Fifth through Ninth. Nancy also has an ESOL certification. She has taught Fourth, Fifth and Sixth grade levels for 32 years. She enjoys playing tennis, jogging, working out and reading. She has a basset hound named Watson for a pet. Nancy teaches her class that there are THREE MUSTS for success in school; organization, focus and perseverance. If a student applies all three to a subject, success will happen.

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