Position: Reading Teacher
School: Inlet Grove Community High School
School District: Palm Beach County School District
City, State: Riviera Beach, FL
Music that Describes Rose
Rose Pawlin received multiple nominations from her community. The following profile contains text from each nomination.
Mrs. Pawlin has faced adversity like no other, from being in foster care, to undergoing open heart surgery at the age of 7. This hasn't stopped her, however, from transforming the lives of her students and colleagues. She has changed so many lives for the better, and is still doing so today.
Mrs. Pawlin's story begins as a child. When she was in foster care, she had a biological brother, Michael, who did everything that she did. Although he was 11 months younger than her, Mrs. Pawlin's brother imitated her every move and word. As a result, he began talking and walking at an early age.
"From the beginning, Rose took it upon herself to be responsible for Michael's ability to adapt to our family and to speak before he was two," said her aunt, Lucy McNiesh, who took care of Mrs. Pawlin before she was formally adopted. "It was fun for us to watch that tiny boy following his sister around, trying to imitate her actions and her words. It was already the beginning of her teaching!"
Even though she faced adversity, she officially decided that she wanted to change the lives of others when she was 13 years old. She believed the best way to do this would be to become a teacher. She always had a fascination with English and Language Arts. Her 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Fiffe, even allowed her to teach the class one day, which solidified her yearning to become a teacher.
When Mrs. Pawlin was older, she decided to attend Florida Atlantic University to become a teacher in Elementary Education. Due to financial hardship, Mrs. Pawlin had to leave Florida Atlantic University, but this did not deter her from her dream of becoming a teacher. She saved up money and attended Broward College. Once she received her Associate's Degree, she returned to Florida Atlantic University and finally obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She even managed to graduate with a 3.7 GPA.
Mrs. Pawlin was hired by the School District of Palm Beach County, and her dream of becoming a teacher was finally coming to fruition. As a first-year teacher, she struggled, yet she somehow managed to have her entire class of 4th graders raise their scores on the FCAT. Mrs. Pawlin felt, however, that she should reach students at a higher level, ones that could really use her help. With a little push from teachers in her department, Mrs. Pawlin decided to teach high school.
Over that summer, she was hired at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, FL as a Reading teacher. She traveled over an hour every day to get to work. Sometimes, it would take almost two hours to get home when there was traffic. Some days, Mrs. Pawlin would leave at 6am and do many extra activities at the school, such as Drama Club and coaching soccer. On these days, she wouldn't get home until after 11pm, only to begin the process again the next morning. What makes her unique, however, is that she never complained about the drive or the extra activities. She never seemed to burn out. She loved what she did, and she loved who she worked with.
The school was centralized in a very low socioeconomic area. Many students believed they would have to drop out in order to make money, and a big portion of students felt like they had to be in school because they were required. Because of Mrs. Pawlin, the students loved coming to school. They wanted to be in her class. Mrs. Pawlin made reading fun and enjoyable. Mrs. Pawlin would come home and tell stories about the eccentric students she encountered. She even took up overseeing the Drama Club, which helped students to really express themselves. She became head soccer coach over a short period of time, and the boys’ soccer team broke their losing streak for the first time in years. Some students even began calling her “Mom.” This made Mrs. Pawlin feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
In her pursuit of excellence, Mrs. Pawlin went on to get her Master's Degree in Education. She did this while she was pregnant, and even had to complete coursework while on bed rest in the hospital. She gave birth to her son just before one of her final exams, and still managed to pass the class.
After having a baby, Mrs. Pawlin had to leave Belle Glade to live somewhere closer to home. After working in Belle Glade for three years, Mrs. Pawlin found her next opportunity at Palm Beach Gardens High School. She originally began teaching English, but administrators felt that her expertise could be applied in other areas as well. Soon, Mrs. Pawlin taught SAT Prep, Digital Design, and Edgenuity, helping students to graduate.
Mrs. Pawlin adapted well with her students and developed an amazing rapport with them. Students felt comfortable sharing their personal struggles with her. When one of her students attempted to commit suicide because of his mother passing, Mrs. Pawlin reached out and became a mentor for the student, who ended up changing his outlook on life. He began to call her “Mom” and even treated her like a mother. Mrs. Pawlin even helped some students who were having family issues. She bought clothes for some of her homeless students, gave them food, bought them supplies, and even tutored them after school. The students continue to message her and request her to come back to the school because they miss her smiling face every day.
Mrs. Pawlin decided it was time to help students even more and switched schools to Inlet Grove Community High School. She began her journey with Inlet Grove in January of 2019. Even though she has only been there for a few months, she has already developed a rapport with the students and teachers. Many of her students made gains on their FSA test scores. This was partially because Mrs. Pawlin would stay late after school to tutor students in reading. Usually, around 35 students would show up to her tutoring. Previously, only about 6 students on average would attend Reading Tutoring, and it was never full. Ever since Mrs. Pawlin showed up, her tutoring class was often maxed out. Students enjoyed learning from her. She made reading fun. She even found fun ways to teach the students. She developed an escape room to help teach Macbeth for her 10th graders using Google Sites and QR Code Readers. You would never have seen students so excited to learn about Shakespeare.
"Rose had severe ADHD as a child and had a hard time learning how to focus, so she was always aware of how vitally important it was to hold a student's attention," said McNeish. "From the beginning of her career, she constantly read books and searched the Internet in an effort to make things clear and interesting so that her students' minds would not wander. I recall how she would describe to me her plan to excite her class about Shakespeare, unwilling to accept that high school kids historically have difficulty concentrating on Shakespeare!"
Because of the adversity she faced, Mrs. Pawlin was able to help students in ways that no one else would have been able to help. Students felt like they found a mother figure in her. Even students at Inlet Grove began to call her mom. Students would come to Mrs. Pawlin to vent about situations, boys, or even just to get advice on how to better themselves in school. She continues to do this today.
"Every time I needed someone to talk to, Mrs. Pawlin were always there," said an anonymous student. "She was always helping me with anything I needed help with."
Time and time again, Mrs. Pawlin has proven her ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students. Many of her students feel more confident because she helped them to raise their test scores. They enjoy reading more, and they have changed their overall outlook on life in a more positive way.
Mrs. Pawlin has an ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmosphere by promoting positive energy around the school. She always encourages students to do her best. She even works one on one with administrators to see how she can make the school a better place. Mrs. Pawlin is always asking everyone around school what she can do to help them, and she never asks for anything in return.
She shows amazing leadership abilities. Whenever possible, she takes charge. She is always offering professional development to other teachers. She always helps her department by providing resources to assist them with planning and teaching. Mrs. Pawlin is always ready to provide advice to new teachers and she is eager to always learn more in order to better herself, not only as an educator, but as a person, as well. She is always attending trainings and bringing back the information for other teachers.
Mrs. Pawlin shows exemplary performance at the professional level by receiving scores of “Innovating” on her Professional Growth Plan. Through utilizing Marzano’s model of teaching, she scores highly on her reviews of the elements of teaching. As a result, many of her students over her seven years of teaching have raised their reading levels and went on to pass their state exams.
Being a mother figure shows her commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere. Students are constantly telling Mrs. Pawlin about their family lives, calling her “Mom”, asking for advice, venting to her, and asking for help. Her students feel like they can ask her for help with anything. She is always letting off positive energy. She even tells her classes about her safe and positive classroom environment. Mrs. Pawlin always tells her students that her room is a positive place, no matter what. And she enforces it. Whenever two students are having miscommunication or there are negative situations between the students, she will pull each of them aside and speak with them to resolve the conflict. She believes that when students come into her room, they can always feel accepted. This helps her develop positive learning environment.
Mrs. Pawlin shows great adherence to high moral and ethical standards. She is always following the rules. She even holds the students to the handbook standards. When she doesn’t feel comfortable with something, she will usually ask an administrator, colleague, or her husband for help. She is always trying to do the right thing.
"Over her 7 years of teaching, Mrs. Pawlin has managed to change the lives of her students and colleagues. She loves watching her kids grow into young adults, and she loves even more to see them succeed," said one of her nominators. "She always encourages people to do their best, and when they do their best and succeed, she gets a sense of accomplishment. Mrs. Pawlin only wants to make a difference in this world, and she has started with our youth. If anyone has been a LifeChanger, it has been her."
"Some people are born teachers. I believe that Rose is one of those teachers," said McNiesh. "What makes her outstanding is that she continues to work at becoming the teacher who helps and inspires, the teacher who will continue to influence the lives of her students and whom they will remember long after they have left school."