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Braille Challenge Teacher of the Year 2018-07-20T11:26:15+00:00

Teacher of the Year for Excellence in Braille Instruction

Every year, Braille Institute recognizes teachers of the visually impaired for their hard work, dedication, and innovation. The Teacher of the Year for Excellence in Braille Instruction award is an opportunity for all Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs) to be recognized on a national level for the indelible contribution they make on students who are blind or have severe vision loss.

Any teacher of the visually impaired in the US or Canada can be nominated by peers, students, or others. The Teacher of the Year is selected by The Braille Challenge National Advisory Committee! For more information, contact Jacky Garcia at jgarcia@brailleinstitute.org or (323) 906-3104

Nominate a TVI

The 2017 Teacher of the Year is Jacinda Danner from Palmer, Alaska. 

Jacinda L. Danner, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, Palmer, Alaska

Jacinda was nominated by Brandee Vandermark, a student’s mother, who says Jacinda has played a major role in helping her daughter become the intelligent, independent, and caring young lady she is today.

Jacinda has been a leader in the field of visual impairment promoting braille literacy in schools, the community, and the entire State of Alaska for 25 years now, and she has taught at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District for 17 years.

In addition to being an excellent Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Ms. Danner is a state-wide contractor for infant toddler services through AVISION, LLC Alaska Vision Impairment Services and Instruction, a company she founded in 2011, sometimes traveling to students and families in rural Alaska villages in single-propeller airplanes. She has also served as the president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) in Alaska and has edited and published articles about service delivery for youth with vision loss.

She earned her Masters Degree in Visual Disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado along with a Bachelors Degree in Educational Visually Impaired Orientation and Mobility from Florida State University.

In a letter to support her nomination, Dennis Boyer (Behavioral Health Supervisor for the Matanuska-Susitna Borought School District) said, “I have found that Jacinda is distinguished by her ability to focus on the minutia of her immediate work with students, while concurrently visualizing efforts have certainly promoted braille not only for the blind but also sighted family members, peers, school staff, and other community members.”

Past “Teacher of the Year” winners

  • 2016 – Christian Keith, California
  • 2015 – Patricia Leader, California
  • 2014 – Jan Zollinger, Idaho
  • 2013 – Christine Short, Iowa
  • 2012 – Dr. Laurel Hudson, Georgia
  • 2011 – Trina Britcher, West Virginia
  • 2010 – Rosalind Rowley, Massachusetts
  • 2009 – Carolyn Mason, Texas
  • 2008 – James Nezol, Oregon
  • 2007 – Sandy Serventi, Florida
  • 2006 – Graham Cook, British Columbia
  • 2005 – Anna Swenson, Virginia