Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rookie Switzerland Point Teacher Honored

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rookie Switzerland Point Teacher Honored

Article excerpt

Teacher Trisha vanBrederode helped a student whose parents died

get into grief counseling.

She helped get a mentor and a two-year college scholarship for

another student from a low-income single-parent home.

"She goes beyond the call of duty constantly," said Sue

Sparkman, dean of students at Switzerland Point Middle School,

where vanBrederode is a first-year teacher.

For her endless compassion and ability to make learning

exciting, vanBrederode of St. Augustine was named St. Johns

County's most outstanding first-year teacher.

The 24-year-old language arts teacher has instantly gained the

trust of her students and developed lessons that engage

students, all within her first year on the job, said her

supervisors and students.

"She makes class very interesting," said sixth-grader Amelia


"She listens to what we have to say," said sixth-grader

Kristopher Samples.

VanBrederode will represent the district in the national Sallie

Mae First Class Teacher Award competition in June.

The national competition, in its 14th year, is offered through

the Student Loan Marketing Association, the nation's largest

source for student loans. Sallie Mae is a made-up name to

represent SLMA.

VanBrederode was selected from five St. Johns County nominees

by a panel of former teachers and administrators.

Duval, Clay, Nassau and Baker counties did not participate.

In her sixth-grade literature class Tuesday, students sat on

the edge of their seats during a lesson on child labor in the

early 1900s, where children worked in factories in adverse

conditions for pennies a day.

Jaws dropped and eyebrows tightened as she told of children

being beaten, doused with cold water by employers for falling

behind. Eyes bugged when she told of kids losing fingers in

dangerous machines. …

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