2018 Florida Teacher of the Year
Blog: Learn With Me Florida!
Upon entering high school, I knew I wanted to be a mathematics teacher but did not realize the impact a teacher could make by empowering their students. Mr. Howard taught Algebra 1 standards but also transformed his students into student teachers. Through deliberate practice, guided struggle, and challenging course work, I developed my understanding of mathematics and become a teacher leader. Mr. Wagner also challenged my abilities as a student and improved my attention to detail. By validating student work and celebrating multiple paths to solving a problem, I not only began to think differently but could also see connections between concepts and standards.
With the help of fabulous teachers like Mrs. Leonard, Mr. Howard, and Mr. Wagner, I entered the field of education and happily remain there. I believe every student can learn. I am still learning too!
As the valedictorian of Leesburg's class of '77, I have a fierce pride and allegiance to Leesburg High School and so does my family. My brother graduated before me, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins have graduated after me. Most importantly, all of my children graduated from Leesburg High School, and the first of the next generation, my great nephew entered LHS as a freshmen this past school year. I cannot imagine teaching anywhere but LHS and cheering for the Fighting Yellow Jackets!
I must admit I love the study of mathematics. I am in awe of the precision and completeness as well as the simplicity and complexity in mathematics. I want my students to see how different areas of concepts fit perfectly together. We look for patterns and make connections to see the sense and order. There is nothing like the thrill of when a student “gets it!”
My love of teaching goes beyond mathematics. The relationships we build within the classroom and school community make school our happy place. My students see someone who loves her job, accepts and loves all students, and is willing to go the extra mile to help them. The love of teaching and mathematics extends to my family as well. Three of my children are also teachers.