5 Local Teachers Among Finalists For Dwyer Awards

Local teachers among the 28 finalists include: Elizabeth Grimes of Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School for Early Education, Deborah Hansen of Panther Run Elementary School for Elementary Education, Gail Marshall of Palm Beach Central High School for High School Education, Joan Joselyn of Palm Beach Central for STEM Education and Steve Gordon of Western Pines Middle School for Special Programs.

The Dwyer Awards, an annual program developed in 1984 and supported by the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, honors outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County, increases awareness of the exemplary teaching in our community, supports educators with financial awards and encourages all residents to promote high standards for excellence in education. The Economic Council of Palm Beach County is comprised of business leaders who are committed to educational excellence as a key tenet for creating an environment for business to prosper.

“The Economic Council of Palm Beach County has had the unique opportunity to honor remarkable teachers in our community for the past 36 years,” said Michele Jacobs, president and CEO of Economic Council of Palm Beach County. “Now more than ever, our teachers need to be recognized and celebrated for their passion, perseverance and resilience.”

The seven categories for the 2020 Dwyer Awards include: Early Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Education, Senior High School Education, STEM Education, Career Education, and Special Programs.

2020 Dwyer Award Finalists


MollyDanielsEarly EducationGood Shepherd Episcopal School
TraceyDickersonEarly EducationBerkshire Elementary School
CindyFakhouryEarly EducationLake Worth Community High School
ElizabethGrimesEarly EducationLoxahatchee Groves Elementary School


DeborahHansenElementary SchoolPanther Run Elementary School
NikkiMagneticoElementary SchoolThe Weiss School
SusanMcGillElementary SchoolForest Park Elementary School
LoriPaquetteElementary SchoolDel Prado Elementary School


ShawnaChristensonMiddle SchoolThe Weiss School
ChristinaDonnellyMiddle SchoolBak Middle School of the Arts
StephanieLapinskasMiddle SchoolDon Estridge High Tech Middle School
SarahNouisMiddle SchoolJupiter Middle School


ToshimiAbe-JanigaHigh SchoolRiviera Beach Prep
GailMarshallHigh SchoolPalm Beach Central High School
AlisonMoeHigh SchoolSantaluces High School
MeghanShamdasaniHigh SchoolSouthTech Academy


JoanJoselynSTEM EducationPalm Beach Central High School
MaryFishSTEM EducationSpanish River High School
HeatherMagillSTEM EducationPalm Springs Middle School
NicoleMcGawSTEM EducationFrontier Elementary School


CherylShimmelCareer EducationOlympic Heights High School
ChrisWhiteCareer EducationSouthTech Academy
NicoleChildsCareer EducationWatson B. Duncan Middle School
MariOrsenigoCareer EducationGlades Central High School


SandraEnglishSpecial ProgramsRiviera Beach Prep
ShariFarengaSpecial ProgramsPine Grove Elementary School
SteveGordonSpecial ProgramsWestern Pines Middle School
MarsiaTucciSpecial ProgramsJupiter Elementary School

The 2020 Dwyer Awards will be a virtual experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The award recipients will be announced and honored along with all finalists, nominees and past recipients at the Dwyer Awards ceremony, presented by the Hanley Foundation, on Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m. via Facebook @DwyerAwards.

The 2020 Dwyer Awards would like to thank Presenting Sponsor Hanley Foundation; Excellence Sponsors FPL and Pratt & Whitney; Award Presentation Sponsors Comcast, Gunster, PNC Bank,  and UnitedHealthcare; Finalist Reception Sponsor SBA Communications Corporation; Staging Sponsor the Elmore Family Foundation; Knowledge Sponsors Blue Ocean Capital, Keiser University and Vecellio Group, Inc., Shutts & Bowen LLP, The Weitz Company; Creativity Sponsors CareerSource Palm Beach County,  Oxbow Carbon,  Palm Beach State College Foundation, Perry & Taylor, P.A., PNC, The Breakers,  Eastwind Development, LLC, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties; Teacher Student Sponsors Bank of America, Jones Lowry, Dr. Dennis Gallon,  Urban Design Kilday Studios; and Media Sponsors WPBF 25 and South Florida Business and Wealth.

Established in 1975, the Economic Council of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that supports an open and collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors in Palm Beach County. Learn more about the Economic Council at www.economiccouncilpbc.org The Economic Council of Palm Beach County Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the Council. For more information visit www.economiccouncilpbc.org/dwyerawards or contact ncarron@ec-pbc.org