Dr. Deborah Tamakloe is now part of a prestigious group of Millersville faculty and staff. The associate professor of special education was recently named Educator of the Year, the only campus-wide award for educator excellence at the University.
The Educator of the Year award is given annually to one faculty or staff member who demonstrates outstanding teaching in all its forms, including counseling, mentoring and advisement. The committee for the award receives a group of nominations and applications and determines the winner based on three categories: behavior/actions, disposition and influence.
Tamakloe was presented the award at the undergraduate ceremony for the College of Education and Human Services. Tamakloe’s achievements in education, which contributed to her Educator of the Year status, were described during an address by Dr. Kelly Banna, associate professor of psychology.
“The individual (Tamakloe) who has been chosen by their peers as the Educator of the Year for the current academic year has been instrumental in co-founding a new Action Research Conference for student teachers to showcase research conducted in their classrooms,” explained Banna.
“Being honored at commencement brought me joy knowing that my little efforts have made positive impacts on my students’ lives and the field of education as a whole,” says Tamakloe. “It also comes with a sense of responsibility to continue striving for excellence in my teaching practices and to serve as a role model for my children who were present.”
Additionally, Tamakloe actively involves students in opportunities outside of the classroom, including a trip with 14 students and a colleague to learn about the Regio Emilia educational approach in Italy. She also organizes an Assistive Technology Conference, where she guides students and colleagues to design low-tech assistive technology that they donate to the IU-13.
“Being named Educator of the Year is an honor,” says Tamakloe. “It has evoked mixed feelings for me – a sense of humility, accomplishment and validation for the hard work and dedication I put into teaching and mentoring students.”
“Personally speaking, being an educator means walking side by side with my students, learning from them as much as they learn from me, while we all strive to become what is ‘essential.’ The recognition from colleagues, administration, students, and the community to me is a mark of respect and appreciation, so I thank them,” Tamakloe concludes. “I dedicate this award to my students and the whole MU community. Let’s all strive to be EPPIIC.”