Vanessa M. Valle, an English Language Arts teacher at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School, has been named the 2021 Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year at a ceremony held this evening at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport & Convention Center.
Valle has been teaching at Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 15 years, and much like her school’s mascot, considers herself a gladiator willing to fight towards making student dreams become a reality. She says that 75 percent of her work as a teacher is challenging students to believe in themselves; the other 25 percent is implementing active learning practices for content acquisition. This philosophy, along with heart, perseverance and dedication has allowed her to create an enjoyable and engaging atmosphere where students are transformed.
A deeply committed advocate for young people, Valle is a mentor and sponsor of the Take Stock in Children program and the “Real Talk” mental health support group at her school. She spearheaded the inception of the very first National Academies Foundation Law Academy in the nation and has worked tirelessly to bring a campus courtroom to her school.
The runner-up is Stephen M. Pereira Jr. from School for Advanced Studies – Wolfson Campus. The top rookie teachers were also recognized at the event. Kalyn Lee, a teacher at Miami Carol City Senior High School, is the 2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year and Alexander Chumbley from MAST @ Homestead is the runner-up.
(Pictured left to right) Board Members Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman and Dr. Marta Pérez, United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats, Board Chair Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman, Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, 2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year Kalyn Lee, Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III, Board Members Mari Tere Rojas, Lubby Navarro and Dr. Martin Karp.
The signature sponsors of this event are Office Depot, United Way of Miami-Dade, South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union and Kendall Toyota. The supporting sponsors are Univision 23, UniMas 69 and Fox-Mar Photography. This event is held in partnership with United Teachers of Dade, Miami-Dade County Council of PTA/PTSA and the Dade Association of School Administrators. Kendall Toyota will present the Teacher-of-the-Year winner with the keys to a new car.
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TOP PHOTO CAPTION: (Pictured left to right) Board Members Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman and Dr. Marta Pérez, United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats, Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, 2021 Francisco R. Walker Teacher of the Year Vanessa M. Valle, Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III, Board Members Mari Tere Rojas, Lubby Navarro and Dr. Martin Karp.
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