Akron’s 2012 Teacher of the Year, Darlene R. Hensley, has 25 years of teaching experience.
But she also was a student earning a master’s degree in polymer science and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Akron.
Hensley teaches ninth- and 10th-grade math at Akron Early College High School.
Students who will be the first in their family to graduate from college get a head start by earning about two years of college credit in addition to their high school diplomas.
Hensley coaches the school’s Miniature Bridge Building team and is co-adviser to the senior class.
Nominees are submitted throughout the district.
Eight finalists then participate in a rigorous interview in front of district-level personnel and former “Teachers of the Year” winners.
The other nominees were: Kristen Booth, Sam Salem elementary; Julie Buzzi, King elementary; Deborah Firtha, Hyre middle school; Susan Hall, National Inventors Hall of Fame middle school; Nicole Hassan, Leggett elementary; Grace Tome, Ritzman elementary and Lynn Waid, North High School.