Holy Family social studies teacher earns DAR award
This past year, Holy Family Catholic Academy (Inverness) middle school students won seven awards from outside organizations.
The entire community recognized and applauded these hardworking students who went above and beyond to create exemplary work. What is often assumed, but not always recognized, is that behind these talented students are teachers who inspire, challenge and encourage their students to excel.
Recently, HFCA announced that middle school teacher Eileen Paparone was publicly recognized as an outstanding educator.
The Eli Skinner Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution chose Paparone, out of approximately 1,000 social studies teachers in the chapter's area, to receive the award for Outstanding Teacher of American History for 2021-2022.
"Our DAR Chapter was incredibly impressed with the historical accuracy, creativity and insights expressed by the essays from Mrs. Paparone's class," said Robin Turpin, chapter historian.
"In fact, HFCA students won first-, second- and third-place awards. The quality of these essays was indeed a testament to Mrs. Paparone's teaching prowess, and our board unanimously selected Eileen Paparone for this award."
"We are thrilled that Eileen received this prestigious award," said HFCA Principal Kate O'Brien. "She is truly committed to her students, presents history in an engaging manner, and sets high academic standards for all of her students."
HFCA student and Eli Skinner Chapter award winner Brandon Thomsen, said, "Mrs. Paparone does more than just read chapters in a textbook. She actually recreates historical events in the classroom through videos, songs, pictures and so much more. I learn so much from her special style of teaching and, equally important, I appreciate that she always encourages each of us to be our best. Because of her, our classes become something to look forward to every day of the week."
Brandon is not alone in his praise for Paparone. Social media posts announcing Paparone's award drew more than 1,000 views and congratulations from students and parents spanning her entire 14-year career at HFCA.
The timing of this award is also noteworthy. While many students in other schools were attending class virtually, HFCA held classes in person, and students met or exceeded their academic goals.
"This award has even greater meaning given it was recognized during the pandemic," O'Brien said. "Eileen's engaging style of teaching had to be adapted to meet COVID protocols, and she and her students still maintained high academic standards."
Reflecting on this award, Paparone said, "I am very humbled to be recognized by the Eli Skinner Chapter of the DAR and very blessed to have such amazing students.
"Exploring American History with my middle school classes offers me a unique opportunity to share the powerful story of our country and spark patriotism in our next generation."
According to Turpin, the Eli Skinner Chapter will recognize Paparone at its annual awards ceremony Feb. 6, 2022.