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Children’s Hospital teacher lands educator award

Jan. 17, 2013, 9:14 AM

Children’s Hospital teacher Tina Woods. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Tina Woods, in-house school teacher at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, was recently named American Paper & Twine Co./Georgia Pacific Teacher of the Year for 2012.

Woods has been a Children’s Hospital school teacher since 2009, and is charged with keeping hospitalized children up to speed on their schoolwork. She has a variety of duties, including gathering assignments and textbooks from teachers, contracting with schools and communicating with distant school districts and lining up homebound school for discharged patients.

“Tina is so well deserving of this award. She is a hardworking, dedicated, passionate and talented teacher,” said Janet Cross, director of Patient and Family-Centered Care at Children’s Hospital. “She is a strong advocate for children with illness and disabilities when it comes to school. She helps coach parents in the navigation of complex systems and about their child’s right to education. And she does all this with much grace and diplomacy.”

American Paper & Twine Co., in partnership with the Tennessee Titans and Georgia Pacific Communications Papers, selects a Teacher of the Week from community nominations throughout the Titan’s football season. A new winner is announced at every Tennessee Titans game, and at the end of the season, the company chooses a Teacher of the Year. Woods was named Teacher of the Week in August.

“I am so fortunate to work with a great team that focuses on the outstanding care of our patients here at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, as well as the many deserving teachers throughout Tennessee who quietly go about their business educating our children every day,” said Woods.

“As a Children’s Hospital teacher, I am privileged to share students with their hometown teachers during their brief or extended stay with us in the hospital. It is a humbling experience to be recognized as the 2012 AP&T/Georgia Pacific Teacher of the Year.”

The hospital school helps children maintain a normal routine and allows them to return to school with less stress. The program has a classroom complete with age-level textbooks and computers and was the first state accredited hospital school program in Tennessee.

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