The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice honored Dan Wynne with the Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award during a ceremony at the Restoring Hope Training Summit in Orlando.
Mr. Wynne is a language arts and social studies teacher at Miami Youth Academy (MYA), a juvenile residential commitment program serving males in Miami-Dade County. Mr. Wynne has worked in the education field for 29 years and has been teaching at MYA for the past eight years.
Mr. Wynne has implemented several academic programs at MYA including the Exchange for Change program, a collaboration with the University of Miami (UM) where MYA students participate in pen pal and in-person writing exchanges with UM students. Mr. Wynne has also implemented Conversations with Poets where nationally recognized and published poets are invited to participate in an interactive deep-dive into poetry with students.
Mr. Wynne received accolades from both his colleagues and students at the program. “My teacher has a very passionate and considerate relationship with the students to unleash their full and untampered talent and always comes to work with a positive attitude and a smile on his face to greet us in the early mornings,” said one MYA student. “He understands the struggle and troubling behaviors of young students and their situations and helps every student at their own pace.”
“Mr. Wynne is a veteran educator who challenges his students to meet their full potential while also empowering them to seek a bright and productive future,” said DJJ Interim Secretary Tim Niermann. “Mr. Wynne is able to make an impact on his students through his work not only in education but also within the community as the youth transition out of the program.”
DJJ partnered with the Florida Department of Education to select the finalists for the Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award. The Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding educator who demonstrates the ability to teach using innovative and creative instructional strategies and who also promotes a positive school environment. The recipient of the Juvenile Justice Teacher of Year helps their students reach personal and academic goals and works to ensure their youth have a successful transition back into the community. Mr. Wynne was chosen as one of three finalists out of many juvenile justice educators throughout the state of Florida. “The nominee serves as one of the true teacher-leaders within our organization by taking on many additional responsibilities, leading professional development activities and providing a wide range of unparalleled institutional and program knowledge. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team”, said Luis Diaz, administrative director for Miami Dade County Public School’s Division of Educational Opportunity and Access.
The finalists were honored at the inaugural DJJ Restoring Hope Training Summit where each received a medal and monetary award from the Florida Juvenile Justice Association.