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Phillips K-5 teacher inducted into the PPS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame

 

Anna Tarka DiNunzio, a teacher at Pittsburgh Phillips K-5, was recently inducted into the Pittsburgh Public Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) inducted its last class of the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007, on Thursday, April 27, seven new members were identified to join this elite group.

Anna Tarka DiNunzio, a South Side resident and a teacher at Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 located on 19th and Sarah streets, was included with those receiving honors.

Ms. DiNunzio studied Spanish throughout her years in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and completed her studies in the International Baccalaureate Program at the Schenley High School Teacher Center in 1990. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1994 with a Bachelor's of Science in Spanish.

During her junior year, Ms. DiNunzio studied in the Dominican Republic in Santiago de los Caballeros. After graduating, she worked for a lobbyist on Capitol Hill and spent a considerable amount of time back in the Dominican Republic.

Ms. DiNunzio, the daughter of two PPS teachers, realized she had a passion for teaching while tutoring students in Washington, D.C. She returned to Pittsburgh and attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1998, with a dual Pennsylvania certification in Elementary Education and K-12 Spanish.

Although she received job offers from school districts surrounding Pittsburgh, she accepted a position to teach 4th grade at Phillips when the school added its Spanish magnet component.

In addition to teaching, Ms. DiNunzio has taken on leadership roles at both the school and district levels. She is a member of the school's Instructional Cabinet and Discipline Committee and is the teacher in charge when the principal is out of the school.

She has worked as a member of the district's teacher evaluation design and compensation teams. Since her first years at the school, she has been one of three union representatives and became a member of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teacher's Executive Board in 2011. She sits on multiple committees that include both PFT and PPS members who work collaboratively on issues that affect students.

Ms. DiNunzio has been rated "Distinguished" annually since 2009 when the school district implemented a system that not only evaluates teachers but also provided feedback to help all teachers improve. As a teacher leader, she is often providing feedback to teachers on best practices.

In the next school year, she will become the school's instructional teacher leader working closely with the teachers and school principal Michael Calvert to improve student learning and achievement. Her passion and dedication to the students, staff, parents and community is evident in all that she does.

When Ms. DiNunzio married Chad, her husband of 13 years, they lived in Brookline until they purchased her parents' home in Banksville where she was born and raised. In 2011, her family, that now included two sons, Dominic and Matteo, moved to South Side because, while teaching at Phillips, she fell in love with the neighborhood.

Both sons accompany their mother to school each day and, when they were in 2nd grade, they each became her students for that year. Her son Dom will be attending Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, PPS's Creative and Performing Arts School, next year.

 

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