November's Quill Educator of the Month

By Josh Cohen
November 7, 2013

ORLANDO -- Dorina Sackman knows a lot about storytelling and how to engage and relate to others. It’s one of her primary initiatives every time she walks into a school and proceeds to educate students. It’s also a reason – among a list of others – why she recently was named Florida Teacher of the Year.

Therefore, it was only fitting for Sackman, an eighth grade ESOL Language Arts Teacher at Westridge Middle School in Orlando, to be at the center of an unforgettable story that she and a group of students can share with others forever.

On Thursday, November 7, Sackman was the beneficiary of a wonderful revelation. While empowering students, members of the Orlando Magic arrived at her classroom and surprised her with the announcement that she was named the Quill Educator of the Month for November in Orange County.

And her reaction was precious.

As soon as she spotted her favorite mascot, STUFF, Magic Dancers and other representation of a team she has fond memories of, Sackman couldn’t help but show every type of emotion possible. She was beyond ecstatic.

“When you see STUFF show up, you just look and go oh my gosh because you know right there it’s the representation (of the Magic),” she cheerily stated just minutes after learning of her latest achievement.

“I am so honored,” she continued with tears of joy running down her chin. “For the Orlando Magic to do what they are doing in the community, for reaching out to us as we reach out to these kids, that’s exactly what my whole platform is, that is takes a village to raise a child and the Magic are helping us do that.”

Sackman, who is using her remarkable teaching gifts to inspire and motivate kids throughout Florida as part of a statewide academic mission, is the second of six educators that are being honored by Quill and the Magic throughout the season.

“You have to know your children’s stories before you can even teach them,” she responded when asked about her amazing and interesting teaching style. “I have to create an environment where I get to know my kids on a personal level. I want to know their stories, I want to know what their challenges are, I want to know what their goals and dreams are. Education should be fun and kids should want to come to the classroom.”

Each honoree will receive $500 to spend on school supplies, be invited to an upcoming Magic home game where they will be commemorated at center court and will be entered as a finalist to receive $10,000 towards purchasing Nook Tablets or e-readers for the entire classroom.

The Magic have spent a lot of time in the Central Florida community in their 25 years and they will continue to contribute as much as possible to further enhance education. To learn more about the Magic in the community, please visit