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TWINSBURG -- Rotary Club of Twinsburg Teacher of the Year Anna Pavkov "makes a difference in the lives of so many students," says her boss, R.B. Chamberlin Middle School Principal Jim Ries.
Pavkov, 32, was recognized May 4 during the State of the Schools Address, sponsored by the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce.
"I was quite surprised," Pavkov said. "It was very unexpected. It's a humbling experience to realize that people are paying attention to what you are doing, and noticing the work you do."
This is Pavkov's third year with the Twinsburg City School District, and her seventh year as an educator.
She is the middle school's reading academic coach, working with students who have difficulty in both reading and writing.
"Anna Pavkov has provided quality, targeted instruction for students with challenges," said Ries. "She believes in each student's ability to achieve success and encourages every striving reader to reach their full potential. As one of her students said, 'Reading was frustrating, and I hated language arts class. Now, because of Mrs. Pavkov, reading is easier and school has become better for me.'"
Ries added that Pavkov also collects and analyzes data to monitor reading progress.
"She has been a valuable leader in technology implementation by helping promote Twinsburg City School's technology initiatives through formal professional development and assisting colleagues on a daily basis," he said. "Anna ... also helps facilitate state testing."
Pavkov said she was inspired to become a teacher by her own -- specifically a social studies teacher, she said.
"I had teachers who were really exceptional," she said. "I wanted to do the same thing for other students. It's great working with students and colleagues who have a passion for what they do. I'm grateful to be able to work here. I'm honored to be part of this district and this community."
Pavkov grew up in West Akron and graduated from Copley High School. She lives in Mentor with her husband and three children. Previously, she taught at an alternative online school, and at Rowland Elementary School in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District. She has also taught at Walls Elementary School in the Kent School District.
Rotary Club of Twinsburg President Philip Weiss said principals at the district's five schools select and submit candidates for the award.
"The Rotary is interested in developing youth and the future generations," Weiss said. "One issue is literacy. In some parts of the country, this is a real problem."
Encouraging a love for reading is something that "will help [students] for the rest of their lives," Weiss said.
The Rotary gives the the honored teacher a commemorative plaque and $100 "for the classroom, for supplies, books, whatever is needed to continue their goals," Weiss said.