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Powell teacher earns top distinction

The middle school instructor in gifted education and social studies, who has taught 17 of 24 years in Hernando, is named the county's Teacher of the Year.

Published February 13, 2005

BROOKSVILLE - An instructor of gifted education and social studies at Powell Middle School has been selected as Hernando County's Teacher of the Year.

Rosemarie Shaeffer, who has 24 years of teaching experience - 17 in Hernando County - received the award Saturday evening from the Hernando County Education Foundation.

In a letter endorsing Shaeffer, 49, for the honor, the Powell Middle School nominating committee noted that she "inspires the love of learning in all her students." In fact, many of those students describe her as their favorite teacher.

According to the Powell committee, Shaeffer was nominated for the honor by 14 students, two co-workers and a parent. Her students praised her for making "geography very fun ... even the tests!" and finding "new and creative ways to teach us."

At the school, Shaeffer coaches the Brain Bowl team, which participates in academic competition, and sponsors the Junior BETA club, an honor society that encourages students to help out in the community. Under Shaeffer, Powell's Brain Bowl team has beaten the other Hernando middle schools four out of the past seven years.

Last year, Shaeffer also led the student body in creating a new constitution for Powell, a process that concluded with a convention in which delegates from each class signed a new preamble and constitution into law.

Shaeffer didn't stop there. As the government sponsor, she escorted two students to Washington, D.C., so they could speak to members of Congress and officials about stopping violence in schools.

That type of dedication, Powell officials said, made Shaeffer deserving of the honor.

"She exudes a love for teaching and a zest for life in general," the Powell nominating committee wrote.

Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at 352 848-1431 or

[Last modified February 13, 2005, 01:07:16]

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