For the fifth consecutive year, the Lindback Foundation and the School District of Philadelphia have partnered to award high school teachers with the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding service.
This week, four teachers from Northwest Philadelphia were presented with the award, along with more than 50 others throughout Philadelphia.
The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award is an annual award given to exemplary teachers in each of the 66 high schools. Recipients were nominated by their colleagues and students and are given $3,500 from the foundation. It was created in 2008 in honor of Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback. Christian Lindback was president and principal owner of Abbotts Dairies Inc. and a Trustee of Bucknell University.
To congratulate the recipients, the acting superintendent Tom Knudsen, School Reform Commission commissioner Feather Houston, Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan and Lindback Foundation Trustees Sheldon M. Bonovitz, David E. Loder and Reginald J. Middleton were all in attendance. The presentation was held at The Prince Music Theatre located at 1312 Chestnut Street.
Steven Weber, a 21-year special education teacher who instructs students with autism at Roxborough High School, said he is grateful for the award and all the people who have worked with him throughout the years.
“I am very honored that they singled me out, but I also recognize all that they do and all the parents and all of the other students that I have had over the years that have allowed me to become the teacher I am today,” said Weber.
Weber helped to create Autism Ambassadors a school-based peer mentoring program for students with Autism, with the Philadelphia-based Variety Club.
He plans on utilizing the $3,500 to purchase school supplies such as ink, games and 12 cartons of paper.
Michael Thompson has been a history teacher at W.B. Saul High School for 10 years and this is the first time he has ever received an award for teaching. He said he was pleasantly surprised when he won because many of his peers were just as deserving of the award.
“When your peers and administrators select you for something like this, it says a lot,” said Thompson. “It makes me reflect on the type of people that I work with to know that they look at me and see something there.”
He said next to being a husband and father, teaching is the best thing that he has ever done.
Thompson plans on using the money to purchase a new computer in order to enhance in-class instruction.
Lankenau High School’s Thomas Wolfinger and Germantown High School’s Joan Bommentre also received awards.