Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teachers Given $15K for Classroom Work; Gladys Prior Award Given to Educators with Longtime Careers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teachers Given $15K for Classroom Work; Gladys Prior Award Given to Educators with Longtime Careers

Article excerpt

Byline: Denise Smith Amos

Four Duval County teachers are $15,000 richer after being honored for achievements in the classroom.

The winners of the 2016 Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching were visited in their classrooms Monday and Tuesday with a contingent of University of North Florida educators congratulating them on behalf of Gilchrist Berg, a Jacksonville-area businessman who created and funds the awards.

Susan Harper, a kindergarten teacher at Tiger Academy; Scott Sowell, a science teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School; Judy Reppert, a social studies and civics teacher at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School; and Mark McGiveron, a math teacher at Fletcher Middle School each won cash awards, which honor accomplished teachers who have had long careers.

Berg, founder and president of Water Street Capital, established the award in 1998, naming it after his fourth-grade teacher at Ortega Elementary, to reward teachers with lifelong commitments to education. So far 76 teachers in public and private schools in Duval County have won.

UNF's College of Education and Human Services manages the gift and the award competition each year.

An educator for more than 40 years, Susan Harper teaches kindergarten at Tiger Academy, a charter school, after a lengthy career in Duval County Public Schools. Principal Charles McWhite said Harper helps her children develop stellar speaking and listening skills. He said many teachers regularly visit her classroom to gain ideas for their classrooms. Students hugged Harper when the award was announced and some asked if her tears were happy or sad tears.

Scott Sowell, a science teacher at Darnell-Cookman, noted that as a student he was taught by two inspiring teachers who also had won Gladys Prior awards. Sowell, a 20-year teaching veteran, was Duval County's Teacher of the Year in 2012. …

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