Dood Wood-Griffin and Sheila Lightbourne Recognized by the Florida Reading Association

Dood Wood-Griffin was chosen the Florida Reading Association’s Middle School Teacher of the Year and Sheila Lightbourne was chosen the Florida Reading Association’s Reading Leader of the Year. Wood-Griffin and Lightbourne were also recognized at Okaloosa County School District’s November 13 Board Meeting.

Dood Wood-Griffin - Middle School Reading Teacher of the Year

Dood Wood-Griffin has been named the FRA’s Middle School Reading Teacher of the Year. This award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions in the teaching of middle school reading.  Nominations were solicited from each school district. To be nominated, a person must have met the following criteria:

  • Has made a positive impact on student reading.
  • Applies innovative reading techniques in a classroom setting.
  • Promotes reading outside the school.
  • Has had advanced study in reading (college courses and/or in-service workshops).
  • Has published articles, or made presentations (In-service workshops and/or conference sessions).

Wood-Griffin has a BA in Education from Auburn University and has her Reading and ESOL endorsements. She has been in education since 1975 and taught at Oakland Heights ES, Silver Sands School, Valparaiso ES, Choctawhatchee HS, and Meigs MS before coming to Lewis School in 2002. 

To read her “Reading Teacher Philosophy” submission, click here.

Sheila Lightbourne - Reading Leader of the Year

Sheila Lightbourne has been named the FRA’s Reading Leader of the Year.  Nominations were solicited from each school district. To be nominated, a person must have met the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates a superior ability to foster excellence in literacy education leadership and contributes to the continuous improvement of student learning, professional development, and the school environment;
  • Displays expertise in literacy and actively participates in continued professional development as evidenced by participation in relevant training and/or advanced degrees;
  • Maintains a record of superior administrative performance as evidenced by data driven student gains, annual performance assessments and/or recognition of work;
  • Demonstrates leadership in educational activities at the school, district, and/or state and national level, such as active membership in an advisory council, task force, or professional organization or through involvement as a district administrator or principal;
  • Displays exemplary interpersonal skills in communicating with teachers, students, parents and community members as well as in collaboration with other professionals;
  • Utilizes innovative research techniques, such as action research, to enhance the quality of literacy instruction;
  • Engages parents/families in learning process to enhance student achievement;
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to creating a climate of caring and respect conducive to effective teaching and learning;
  • Evidences dedication to his/her community through active participation in service-oriented projects, volunteer work, etc.

“First we were selected by our peers to represent the district,” said Lightbourne.  “The other principals selected me. Then I filled out the packet for the state selection.”

Lightbourne has a Master of Education degree from the University of West Florida and a BA in Science Education from the University of South Florida. She taught in Hillsborough County before moving to Okaloosa County where she has taught at Choctawhatchee HS, served as the District’s Curriculum Specialist, Assistant Principal for Curriculum for Choctawhatchee HS, and is currently the Principal of Shalimar Elementary.

To read her “Reading Teacher Philosophy” submission, click here.

As FRA winners, Wood-Griffin and Lightbourne will receive a free registration to attend the FRA Annual Conference, one night's hotel stay at the conference, and a plaque. Letters were also sent to the superintendent of schools, and she was featured in the FRA Newsletter and The Florida Reading Journal.

The Florida Reading Association represents over 6,900 members who are actively interested in reading and writing instruction. It is composed of local chapters and special interest groups including

  • the Council for Early Literacy,
  • the Council for Adult and Family Literacy,
  • Reading Supervisors of Florida,
  • Florida Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading, and the
  • Secondary Reading Council.

The Florida Reading Association is an affiliate of the International Reading Association, a 90,000 member nonprofit educational organization devoted to the promotion of lifetime reading habits and the improvement of language and literacy instruction.