District Reviewing Picks for Teacher of the Year; the Committee Will Next Choose Five Finalists from the 33 Schools' Nominees

Article excerpt

A Clay County school district committee is reviewing nominations from 33 schools to pick the 2005-06 Teacher of the Year.

Five finalists will be announced later this month. The winner will be announced at a 7 p.m. Feb. 7 reception at Fleming Island High and will enter statewide competition.

The Florida Department of Education's Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. All full-time public school classroom teachers, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, adult education teachers, postsecondary vocational/technical education teachers, guidance counselors, media specialists and department chairs who actively engage in classroom teaching are eligible for nomination.

The Florida Teacher of the Year receives $2,500 from the state; finalists receive $1,250. Each district Teacher of the Year receives $500 from the department, as well as a host of gifts and certificates from local businesses and foundations.

Susan Sailor, Clay's district nominee in 1997, went on to win the statewide honor. Sailor is now principal of Keystone Heights Junior-Senior High School.

Here are the nominees, by school:

Argyle Elementary -- Kathleen Schofield, fifth grade

Bannerman Learning Center -- Florence Lafontant, exceptional student education

Charles E. Bennett Elementary -- Hope Friel, exceptional student education

Clay High -- Kim Casper, mathematics

Clay Hill Elementary -- Jered Jerris, third grade

Doctors Inlet Elementary -- Judy McHugh-Clark, fifth-grade mathematics

Fleming Island Elementary -- Vanessa Gay-Rice, sixth grade

Fleming Island High -- Jason Merritt, English/speech

Green Cove Springs Junior High -- Joseph Cloutier, reading

Grove Park Elementary -- Lucille DeVeaux, first grade

Keystone Heights Elementary -- Dana Grantham, physical education

Keystone Heights Junior-Senior High -- Nicole Honour, history

Lake Asbury Elementary -- Sabrina Thomas, first grade

Lake Asbury Junior High -- Becky Murphy, English

Lakeside Elementary -- Lucille Halifko, kindergarten

Lakeside Junior High -- Dana Brock, guidance/counseling

McRae Elementary -- Linda McGhghy, sixth grade

Middleburg Elementary -- Suzette Blanton, sixth grade

Middleburg High -- Duane Weeks, social studies and network specialist

Montclair Elementary -- Robbin Williams, kindergarten

Orange Park Elementary -- Molly Geeser, fifth grade

Orange Park Junior High -- Darlene Hon, mathematics

Orange Park High -- Carrie Keene, art

Paterson Elementary -- Susie Ament, fourth grade

RideOut Elementary --Sally Clark, third grade

Ridgeview Elementary -- Elizabeth Crane, kindergarten

Ridgeview High -- Lori Ricks, biology

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