Diehl Teacher named CFES Educator of the Year
Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 11/12/2014 2:00:00 PM
Erie, Pa. (November 12, 2014) – Becky Powierza's classroom at Erie's Diehl School is filled with students’ work, positive messages and posters about college and goal-setting.
Powierza, a sixth grade teacher, has coordinated Diehl's involvement in the College for Every Student (CFES) Program since 2009, primarily working with students in grades 4-6 to raise aspirations, improve their preparation for college and develop leadership skills.
"Becky has really embraced the mentoring component of CFES and helps our sixth grade mentors support our fourth grade students both socially and academically," said Dana Gilmore, principal of Diehl School. "She has created an atmosphere for preparing students to be high school, college and career ready."
This November, CFES honored Powierza with the CFES Mario Peña Educator of the Year Award during the organization's annual conference in Burlington, Vt.
CFES Mario Peña Educator of the Year Becky Powierza with Rick Dalton, founder and CEO of CFES (left) and Dennis Fahey, CFES program director (right).
CFES currently supports 20,000 students through partnerships with 200 K-12 schools and districts in 27 states and Ireland. The award — named after Mario Peña, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont who served as a mentor to CFES Founder Rick Dalton — recognizes one educator annually who has "excelled in the classroom to expose their students to college knowledge and develops their academic and personal skills required to achieve their dreams."
CFES student scholars engage in the three core practices – Mentoring, Leadership through Service, and Pathways to College – that help underserved youth achieve college success. At Diehl, a three-time CFES School of Distinction, Powierza has worked to develop a strong mentoring program that is centered on college and career readiness standards and she has set high expectations for the mentors and mentees.
Under her leadership, Diehl CFES scholars have also worked with Penn State Behrend students studying psychology and engineering to develop the interior of a "car of the future" and create a model of the exterior of the car using a 3D printer. Diehl also recently hosted an International Day which included 60 Gannon University International students sharing their culture, dress, language and customs and an evening celebration of diversity where more than 300 students and parents watched a presentation performed by Diehl’s ESL students, visited cultural displays and enjoyed a variety of ethnic foods.
The Diehl CFES scholars have also conducted a recycling program and many students attend the noon concert series hosted at Penn State Behrend. Some sixth grade scholars also participated in a mock UN meeting hosted by Mercyhurst University.