WEST PALM BEACH — The Economic Council of Palm Beach County Inc. in partnership with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of the 34th Annual William T. Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education.

• Elementary Education: Bridget M. Lutz, Gove Elementary School
• Middle School Education: Porschia Shelton, Okeeheelee Community Middle School
• Senior High School Education: Fawn Tenenbaum, John I. Leonard High School
• Special Programs: Meredith Abrams, North Grade Elementary
• STEM: Susan Russo, Independence Middle School
• Career Education: Alicia Laurence-Bersch, Indian Ridge School

Special to The Sun/Courtesy photo
William T. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education recipients were Alicia Laurence-Bersch (not pictured) and, from left to right, Meredith Abrams, Fawn Tenenbaum, Porschia Shelton, Susan Russo and Gove Elementary School teacher Bridget M. Lutz, who won the Elementary Education Award.

The recipients, who each received $3,000 and a crystal flame award, were announced and all finalists, nominees and past recipients were honored at the Dwyer Awards ceremony, presented by The Hanley Foundation, on Tuesday, May 8, at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. All finalists also received $500.

The Dwyer Awards, an annual program developed and supported by the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, honors outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County, increases awareness of the exemplary teaching in our community, supports educators with financial awards and encourages all residents to promote high standards for excellence in education. The Economic Council of Palm Beach County is comprised of business leaders who are committed to educational excellence as a key tenet for creating an environment for business to prosper.

The 2018 Dwyer Awards would like to thank Presenting Sponsor Hanley Foundation; Excellence Sponsors Gunster and Pratt & Whitney; Award Presentation Sponsors Comcast, FPL, Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), The Palm Beach Post and UnitedHealthcare; Finalist VIP Reception Sponsor Office Depot; Staging Sponsor the Elmore Family Foundation; Knowledge Sponsors B&I Florida and Johnson Controls; Creativity Sponsors CareerSource Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach State College Foundation, Perry & Taylor, P.A., PNC, SBA Communications Corporation, Shutts & Bowen LLP; Teacher Student Sponsor the Palm Beach Kennel Club; Television Media Sponsor WPBF 25, and Radio Sponsor ESPN West Palm Beach.

“The Hanley Foundation believes that each and every teacher nominated is a winner,” stated Jan Cairnes, Executive Director. “The Hanley Foundation supports the Dwyer Awards because every citizen of Palm Beach County needs to know about the incredible impact our teachers are making on the youth of our county.”

Established in 1975, the Economic Council of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports an open and collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors in Palm Beach County. Membership of the council is comprised of a diverse mix of different industries of varying sizes in the area whose leaders have an active and influential role in the community. Learn more about the Economic Council at

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is the philanthropic partner for academic excellence in our public schools. The foundation is committed to providing the highest quality education for all our students, ensuring that our children have the best opportunities in education so that they graduate high school ready for college or career.
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2018 Dwyer Award finalists for the Belle Glade and Pahokee area schools were:
• Elementary education: Donald Johnson, Belle Glade Elementary; and Bridget Lutz, Gove Elementary School.
• Senior high: Malissa McAuley, Pahokee Middle-Senior High School.