Flagler Schools wants to congratulate Nina deBodisco, a fifth-grade teacher at Bunnell Elementary School and DeAndre Harris, an intervention teacher at Wadsworth Elementary School as the first “Flagler Schools Excellence in Diversity Education Award” winners. The award is sponsored by the Flagler Schools Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Committee and the African American Entrepreneur Association.
Earlier this year, Flagler schools formed the Flagler Schools Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Committee. This was done in collaboration with Daytona State College and Bethune Cookman University. The primary goal of this committee is to increase minority teacher representation at all levels. It is believed this will also alleviate teacher shortages. Additionally, the committee wants to see a more culturally enriched environment, done through recruiting, hiring, developing, supporting, and retaining a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse teaching administrative workforce. Both Ms. deBodisco and Mr. Harris were honored for demonstrating a commitment to cultural awareness and encouraging a multicultural approach with their students, colleagues, school, and/or community. They have both had a positive impact in advancing diversity and inclusion. “We could not have asked for two better educators to kick off this award in Nina deBodisco and DeAndre Harris,” says Ben Osypian, Chief HR Officer for Flagler Schools. “Both of them have done spectacular jobs in including all students and promoting the power of diversity on our school campuses. I would also like to thank Mr. Leslie Giscombe with the African American Entrepreneurs Association for sponsoring this award and in working with the committee to achieve its goals.” Members of the committee worked to create a list of goals as they move forward. These goals are:
- Increase the number of highly qualified minority teachers in elementary, middle and secondary schools in Flagler Schools. Identify and recruit high school students who are interested in teaching.
- Recruit students at community colleges and support their transition to a four-year institution.
- Recruit professionals seeking a career change to the teaching field and support their enrollment in one of our teacher preparation programs.
- Foster cultural awareness in all Flagler Schools by embracing and celebrating diversity within the schools and community.