2001 AALL Awards
Gary Eyre Lifetime Achievement Award - Marie Olson
Marie Olson is a consummate sharer. It is through her sharing that she has contributed to the field of lifelong learning. This was evidenced way back in 1969 when Marie worked in Illinois. She then assisted the Illinois Community College Board by writing and field-testing Communication skills and Math modules, which were to serve as guides for statewide adult education instruction. She has impacted the field of lifelong learning one individual at a time. She constantly concentrated on the needs of the learner by focusing on just what each student needed to be successful. She established a learning environment that truly welcomed new students. After they felt at home, she ensured their success by offering them multiple modes of study. This included independent study via computer, videos, cassette tapes, or textbooks. Marie also put together a very complete schedule of content-specific classes spanning ABE, GED and ESOL.
Lifelong Learning Advocate Award - Joan Warfield
In her role as the leader of El Rio, Joan Warfield has created a model program that encourages students to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Her work to establish practices that promote student retention has been particularly successful. Last year, El Rio’s average hours per student was extraordinary: 75 hours per student. Students at El Rio stay longer in classes which, in turn, translates into greater opportunities for them to achieve their goals. Joan pays particular attention to each and every student who comes to El Rio. She sees every person as an individual and responds to each individual’s needs.
There is no better phrase to describe Joan Warfield’s involvement with lifelong learning than “professional excellence”. Through her involvement in ESOL curriculum endeavors, her leadership of El Rio, her advice to PCAE's administration and her day-to-day advocacy for and involvement in students’ lives, Joan demonstrates her professional excellence. Whenever PCAE needs a job done exceptionally well, Joan is the person to do it.
Gary Tang Memorial Award - Lynn Reed
In the spring of 1996, the Board of Directors of Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County recognized that the agency was in financial trouble. They asked Lynn Reed if she could see her way clear to help them bring the organization back to solvency. She stepped in as temporary director with the intention of volunteering her time and expertise for six months. Now, more than five years later, Lynn is Executive Director of one of the strongest and most innovative adult education programs in Arizona. Lynn is also very generous with her time and talent in helping the Department of Education, Adult Education Division and other adult education programs throughout the state. Just this year she established a program to provide a Level two screening (Woodcock-Johnson test) to all adult education programs in Arizona. Through training that LVMC provides to program personnel, teachers will be able to test students and to identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to determine just what kind of approach may help them to achieve the academic results they strive for.
In spite of her very busy schedule, Lynn still focuses on the needs of LVMC’s students. She respects each and every one of them as people working hard to better themselves and make better lives for their families. Even though she swears that she’s not a teacher, she continues to devise ways to deliver even better education to adult students and to help make their lives better through lifelong learning.
Rookie of the Year Award - Heidi Silver-Pacuilla
Since Heidi came to PCAE in November of 1999, she has systematically changed the way we serve students throughout our 12,000-student program. While working on her graduate degree in Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities, Heidi has taught and conducted trainings with dozens of staff (both teaching and support staff) on the needs of students with learning disabilities. She has offered several workshops and seminars to prepare instructors with teaching strategies. Because she has trained so many staff members in methods of teaching adults with learning disabilities, the value of Heidi’s work has been expanded ten-fold. Teachers who had previously been uncertain about how to approach students with disabilities now have a method and process for addressing those needs.
Heidi has also researched, applied for, and received a grant from Laubach Literacy International, Women in Literacy. The grant funds a year-long series of monthly focus groups of women literacy learners with disabilities. The culminating act of the grant will be for the women to present their discoveries and experiences at the Mountain Plains Adult education Conference in the spring.
Heidi’s dedication and leadership are inspiring. Colleagues deeply respect her understanding of student learning and are quick to follow her suggestions. Everyone recognizes and values her leadership.