Dwyer Awards Will Be Announced Via Live Webinar May 5

The Economic Council of Palm Beach County Foundation will host the 36th Annual William T. Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education, presented by the Hanley Foundation, on Tuesday, May 5.

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 28 finalists, nominees and past recipients at the Dwyer Awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. via live webinar, which will be shared via Facebook @DwyerAwards and YouTube (Economic Council of Palm Beach County Foundation).

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

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 the 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 the Economic Council. “Now more than ever, our teachers need to be recognized and celebrated for their passion, perseverance and resilience.”

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