Cheryl Avila, a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida, is the second recipient of the Master Teacher of Honor award from Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society for educators.

As a recipient of the distinguished award, Avila joins a select group of educators who have previously been recognized by Kappa Delta Pi for impacting the field of education.

“Great teachers change lives by inspiring students to recognize their gifts and to learn how to use them to pursue a worthy dream. Cheryl Avila is one such teacher,” said Kappa Delta Pi International President Nathan Bond.

As a doctoral student in the Mathematics Education track of the PhD in Education program, Avila serves as both a graduate teaching assistant and clinical coordinator. At UCF, she taught “Elementary School Mathematics” for Elementary Education majors. Across Brevard County, she has worked with secondary student interns. Avila was recently named the 2011 Florida Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (FAMTE) Doctoral Student of the Year. This recognizes her active involvement in math education and her potential for success in the field across the areas of teaching, research and service.

UCF Professor Juli Dixon, coordinator of Avila’s doctoral program, said, “I have nothing but positive things to say about Cheryl’s commitment to her students, her growth as a mathematics educator, and the teaching profession in general.”

Prior to becoming a full-time doctoral student, Avila spent 21 years as a secondary math teacher in New Mexico and Florida. She also served as a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Army for four years. Avila earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio and a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico.

Established in the fall of 2011, the Kappa Delta Pi’s Master Teacher of Honor award recognizes both recipients and their schools. To earn the Master Teacher of Honor designation, an educator must have more than 15 years of classroom teaching experience; submit evidence of professional development, leadership, community service, and exceptional contributions to the education profession; and demonstrate a commitment to integrity and high standards in the classroom.