Hurry's third-grade students take part in community- and project-based learning to build their problem-solving skills.
Wadsworth Elementary School Teacher of the Year Kali Hurry's classroom runs like clockwork, Flagler Schools Coordinator of Student Supports and Discipline John Fanelli wrote in a letter of reference for Hurry's Teacher of the Year application.
"She loves to incorporate one-of-a-kind lessons into her students' education, as they are powerful experiences that she hopes will stay with and influence them for a lifetime."
— JOHN FANELLI, Flagler Schools coordinator of student supports and discipline
"Students frequently move through centers with a high level of engagement and collaboration. The centers are scaffolded to support the needs of all learners," he wrote. "Her district standardized test scores have consistently been in the top 10 across our district."
Differentiated instruction, Hurry wrote in her Teacher of the Year application statement, helps keep her students engaged; the students read above grade-level articles to enhance their comprehension skills and take part in community- and project-based learning to build problem-solving skills.
"Kali models an impressive balance of being a reflective practitioner and a lifelong learner," Wadsworth Principal Anna Crawford wrote in a letter of reference for Hurry. "She is data driven, using various data sources to improve her instruction and that of her colleagues. She seeks opportunities to learn from her colleagues and district staff, and she enjoys leading professional growth opportunities."
Hurry teaches students in the Dreams program, which gathers together highly motivated student who are generally at or above grade level. She earned her bachelor's at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and began her teaching career in 2013 at Wadsworth, where she currently teaches third grade and serves as the third-grade gifted program coordinator.
She's also helped orchestrate community projects, Fanelli noted, such as "Skip the Straw" — in which Hurry's grade level convinced restaurants in Flagler Beach to lower their reliance on single-use plastics.
"She loves to incorporate one-of-a-kind lessons into her students' education, as they are powerful experiences that she hopes will stay with and influence them for a lifetime," Fanelli wrote.
Hurry is tech-savvy — serving as a representative on the Wadsworth Tech Team — and her technology skills have been helpful during COVID-19 as she's shifted students into remote learning and helped train staff members on virtual best practices.
"I am able to give my students the benefits of interactive programs and apps that allow them to manipulate, create, travel to, and explore everything from manipulatives, science tools, limitless literature, and locations around the world, all from the safety of their iPad," Hurry wrote. "... Through the different programs and apps that I use, I can view and control their screens, redirect them to appropriate apps, and share their work when necessary. It has helped me to bring back a sense of educational normalcy during this unique time."
Buddy Taylor Middle School teacher Laura Hibbard's and and daughter have both studied with Hurry, whom they refer to as "school Mom."
"I have watched both of my children excel in her presence, not because the grade was the focus, but because they couldn’t wait to see what Mrs. Hurry had waiting around the corner," Hibbard wrote in a letter for Hurry's Teacher of the Year application. "... Fellow teachers and administrators choose to recognize a teacher for this award, but this year, you’ve chosen one that parents would vote for again and again."