TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) has honored Cori Walls, a Palm Beach County educator, with the FEA Human and Civil Rights Leadership Award, presented annually to a nominee who has demonstrated support and promotion of diversity and social justice.
Walls is the International Baccalaureate film and television production instructor at Atlantic Community High School, Delray Beach. As a teacher of eight years and a former television news reporter, she synthesizes her knowledge bases to cultivate conversations about current events — as well as equity, equality and diversity — through student projects and assignments. In an effort to address racism and homophobia after being alerted to offensive media by students, Walls established an Equality & Equity Committee made up of teachers, staff and administrators.
Walls is the founder of Steve’s Club, a support group for students who have lost a parent. The club is named after her father, who passed away when she was a child. Steve’s Club provides a network of students who understand the grieving process and strategies to cope with losing a parent. Next year, Steve’s Club will be active in more than 15 middle schools and high schools in the district.
Walls uses her relationships in the community to find volunteer, internship and employment opportunities for her students, to broaden their educational experience and help build their resumes for other opportunities.
“Ms. Walls teaches all of us to strive for excellence, to respect each other and celebrate our differences. She demonstrated to all of us at Atlantic Community High School, the value of giving our best for our students, and to do it with a smile,” said Craig Sommer, instructional superintendent.
Walls was honored at the FEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Gala on Oct. 15 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, where FEA held its annual Delegate Assembly.
The Human and Civil Rights Leadership Award was one of four statewide awards presented as part of the annual FEA Human and Civil Rights Gala.