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Press Release Detail

DJJ Honors 2012-2013 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Finalist


March 11, 2014


Heather DiGiacomo

(850) 717-2711

Ocala, Fla. -Today, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and Marion County Public Schools honored Dale Wade as a state finalist for the 2012-2013 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year, during a ceremony at the Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility (MJCF).

Ms. Wade is a language arts teacher at MJCF where she inspires students in the areas of literature, reading, grammar and vocabulary. Dale incorporates innovative tools to engage students in learning such as Flocabulary, an on-line vocabulary building program with modules of vocabulary words set to music and inspiring videos, and all-school presentations including the Vocabulary Smack Down, the All Star Essay Contest and spelling bees. Her level of expectations for her students remains consistently high as she encourages them to achieve new levels of accomplishment.

Students participating in Dale’s classes become better writers under her guidance and benefit from her knowledge of reading and literature, an area in which Dale excels. Ms. Wade recently received a literacy grant award and through it her students have read classics such as Macbeth, Huckleberry Finn, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies and The Grapes of Wrath.

“The skills Ms. Ward provides her students benefit them long after they have left her classroom,” DJJ Deputy Secretary Christy Daly shared. “She maintains the highest levels of expectations so that they will be better prepared in all language arts areas. Her level of dedication to these students makes her an invaluable asset to our DJJ program.”

Ms. Wade mixes compassion with hard work, and tolerance with firm guidelines to get the most from the students at MJCF. Humor mixed with consistency and concern mixed with wisdom allows her to reach most any youth. Few students pass through this program without expressing words of praise for Ms. Wade.

DJJ partnered with the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to select the finalists for the 2012-2013 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award. Dale was chosen as one of three finalists out of the many Juvenile Justice Educators throughout the state of Florida. Each finalist receives a medallion and $200 award from the Florida Association of Alternative School Education.

The award was presented at a ceremony attended by Bobby James, Chairman of the Marion County School Board; Christy Daly, DJJ Deputy Secretary; Laura Moneyham, DJJ Assistant Secretary for Residential Services; DJJ Director of Education Julie Orange; Supervisor of Alternative Programs for Marion County Schools Dama Abshier and other distinguished guests. The ceremony was sponsored by Pearson and Youth Services International (YSI).