Author and educator Loverly Sheridan was recently named the recipient of the prestigious Palm Beach Illustrated Educator of the Year Award. Sheridan emerged as the final winner through public voting from among five finalists who forge meaningful relationships with their students through innovative techniques and genuine care for the next generation.
With globetrotting credentials that include living in and visiting six of the seven continents and more than 60 countries, Sheridan has been able to cross numerous items off her bucket list. But for Sheridan, who is an adult education instructor at the Delray Full Service School, there are still plenty of passions to pursue and causes to tackle, including her most recent focus: anti-bullying in schools.
“Bullying is a global issue and an ongoing problem in our world,” said Sheridan, who is also the president of LS Creative Services, which develops awareness campaigns for issues affecting children and adults. “It’s truly an epidemic and the root of a lot of problems we continue to face today.”
Sheridan shares this message, her experiences and her hopes for future generations in her writing. She has penned five children’s books, including Be a Buddy, Not a Bully, which promotes friendliness and inclusivity.
“I believe it’s important to begin addressing the issues of bullying at a very early age and create a no-bullying culture from the onset,” she explained. “If we focus on prevention, we won’t have to worry about the cure.”
This belief inspired the creation of the Buddy Ambassadors program, which Sheridan runs in partnership with Mental Health America of Palm Beach County. The initiative includes the use of Buddy Benches, tangible tools that are placed in elementary school playgrounds to help put Sheridan’s prompt to be a buddy into practice.
“There’s this enormous pressure placed on children and adults to succeed, but what’s the purpose of passing tests yet failing at life?” Sheridan asked. “Our children’s mental health, and the mental health of each other, should be our first priority.”