Annie Silverthorn is the 2021 recipient of the Joseph and Anna Marie Karaffa Award for Excellence in Education. She is 1995 Toronto High School graduate and began her career in the Toronto City School District in 2001. Mrs. Silverthorn is currently employed as the principal of Toronto Elementary School. She has worked in many positions in the district including as an intervention specialist, elementary teacher, and reading facilitator.
Mrs. Silverthorn received numerous nominations for the award from current students and colleagues. Susan Karaffa Schnell, daughter of Joseph and Anna Marie Karaffa stated that Mrs. Silverthorn was described by nominators as thoughtful, hardworking, a problem solver, and a strong leader. She has filled her position with grace and dignity, and truly cares for students. As a first year principal, Mrs. Silverthorn worked tirelessly with the staff to transition into the new elementary school while leading two curriculum committees in selecting new reading and math curriculum for grades K-5. If that wasn’t enough, she then helped teachers create a plan for educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic. One nominator wrote, “No graduate course or professional development workshop could have prepared her for leading during any of these circumstances, let alone a global pandemic.
Mrs. Silverthorn received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from West Liberty State University. She continued her education at Franciscan University of Steubenville receiving her Masters of Science Degree in Educational Administration. Mrs. Silverthorn is married to Dick Silverthorn. They couple resides in Toronto with their two sons Max and Andy. Her parents are Dr. Glenn and Becky Swearingen.
The Joseph and Anna Marie Karaffa Award for Excellence in Education is presented annually to a teacher or administrator active in Toronto City Schools. The award was established to recognize the efforts of an outstanding teacher or administrator for creating an environment where teaching and learning are valued. Past recipients include: Tim Fisher (2019), Michelle Blazek (2018), Rick Hlivko (2017), Cindy Hinerman (2016), Kirk George (2015), Sally George (2015), Jane Brower (2013), Jennifer Dickinson (2012), Donna McCasland (2011), Ellen Hughes (2010), Mary Jo Kuhn (2009), Lynda Glenn (2008), Charlene Starr (2007), Linda Blair (2006), Linda Antonucci (2005), Gary Fisher (2004), Maureen Taggart (2003), James Ray (2002), Susan Buckham (2001), Barbara Carter (2000), Kirk George (1999), and Barbara Pritts (1998). Nominations for the award were accepted from students, teachers, administrators, parents, and alumni.