Elder, Allai named Fintel Award winners
May 5, 2004
By OLIVE L. SULLIVAN
Morning Sun Staff Writer
When one looks at all the great teachers in Pittsburg schools, it's hard
to choose one as the best representative of excellence in education.
That's why members of the selection committee for the annual Anna Fintel
Excellence in Education Award selected two winners from five nominees this
year, according to Jeff Elliott, one of two masters of ceremonies at the award
presentation ceremony Tuesday.
Joe Dellasega, the second M.C., said teachers guide and shape students'
lives in a great many ways. "This community cannot show you how eternally
grateful we are for the great work you've done," he told those teachers assembled
in the auditorium at St. Mary's Colgan.
Mike Elder, an automotive technology teacher at Pittsburg High School, and
Dee Dee Allai, a fourth-grade teacher at Westside Elementary School, won the
awards this year, each taking home $6,000 of prize money.
Allai has been a teacher for 25 years, 24 of them at USD 250. "Dee Dee is
motivated by the feeling a student experiences when they learn," Elliott said
in his introduction of the nominees. He said she tries to develop "keen awareness"
in her students by building relationships with them.
Elder has been an automotive technology teacher at PHS since 1980. "Mike
tries to model and teach hi students that there are times to play and have
fun and times when we must be serious, thoughtful and careful in what we do,"
Elder strives to ensure each student has some level of success as skills
Other nominees for the Fintel award were Mary Askins, St. Mary's Colgan
School second-grade teacher; Judy A. Malle, eighth-grade teacher at Pittsburg
Middle School; and Janie L. Scott, fourth-grade teacher at George Nettels
Elementary School. Each nominee is awarded $1,000, while the winner receives
an additional $5,000.
USD 250 officials also announced Tuesday that Scott has been named the local
Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.
The Fintel award is given each year by an anonymous donor, in honor of Anna
Fintel's outstanding impact on the donor's life. Fintel, born in 1895, taught
in Capaldo and Franklin before coming
to USD 250 in 1920. She taught math until mandatory retirement in 1960, then
moved into the St. Mary's-Colgan Schools system.
Selection is based on several criteria, including leadership in the classroom
by personal example; using their interest and dedication to teaching to encourage
students to do their best; and having a classroom manner that commands respect.
Length of service in the schools is not a requirement, and previous winners
are not eligible to win again.
Staff Writer Olive L. Sullivan may be reached at (620) 231-2600, Ext. 134,
or at email@example.com