Speeches and Floor Statements

Mary Beth Radigan

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Washington, April 18, 2016 | comments

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mary Beth Radigan, an outstanding educator and Hillsborough County’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in Special Education, Ms. Radigan began her illustrious career in special-education classrooms, including nine years in Hillsborough County as an educator for autistic and intellectually delayed students. She currently serves as special education teacher at Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. As a proud parent of a Plant High School student, I know firsthand how invaluable an educator is in developing the potential in all children. Ms. Radigan’s passion for education is so well established in our community that she was selected from a pool of hundreds of nominees as the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year. Accompanying her passion in the classroom, Ms. Radigan serves as a Special Olympics coach. Students in her classroom learn important life skills through numerous additional programs that she has spearheaded. In 2012, Ms. Radigan’s class founded Pawbucks coffee, a coffee service, where her students have the opportunity to improve their job skills, social skills and independence. They are responsible for managing the business by making coffee, setting up the carts, selling and delivering coffee, answering phone orders and counting the total daily sales. Beyond practical skills, Pawbucks coffee has given students the opportunity to feel a great pride and a part of the school community. In addition to the coffee service, she and her students founded an organic garden that recently received a Florida Agriculture in the Classroom grant to buy a hydroponic tower. You can also find her students leading the cheering section at the weekly football games through the Paw Prints Cheerleading. Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year Mary Beth Radigan has shown time and time again her unwavering commitment and compassion to go above and beyond for her students. She has created a meaningful and enriching experience for all of her students and will leave a lasting legacy as a teacher with endless compassion and drive. It is one of my greatest honors to champion our community’s excellent students and educators in Congress. On behalf of the constituents of the Fourteenth District of Florida it is our honor to recognize Mary Beth Radigan for her exemplary career of educating our community’s youth.

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