- North Port High
Teacher of the Year Finalists
Teacher of the Year Finalists Surprised at Three Sarasota County Schools
SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2021) – Three Sarasota County teachers were surprised Thursday, Nov. 4, when they were revealed as finalists for the district’s elementary, middle and high school Teacher of the Year honors.
This year’s finalists are:
- Elementary: Shannon Haddad, Ashton Elementary School;
- Middle: Jennifer Jaso, Sarasota Middle School;
- High: Loridia Urquiza, Booker High School
The Teacher Tribute Tour Team celebrated the finalists in person at their schools with balloons, flowers, and enthusiastic fanfare custom-planned by each school’s leadership.
“We are so excited to return to an in-person celebration of our Teacher of the Year finalists,” said Education Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Vigne. “This is the third school year impacted by the pandemic, and our wonderful teachers continually inspire us by rising to the incredible challenges and keeping their focus on helping students rise to their individual potential.”
This year’s Teacher Tribute Tour team included Vigne; Assistant Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer Chris Renouf, district executive directors Steve Cantees, and Dr. Brandon Johnson. In addition, principals Kristi Jarvis, Jennifer Nzeza, and Rachel Shelley, along with family members of the honorees, participated in their schools’ celebrations.
“Our school communities have not let the pandemic hinder their progress, especially our resilient Teachers of the Year,” said Dr. Brennan Asplen, Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “These special teachers have invested considerable time, heart, and talent into their students. Their collective impact is truly tangible and life-changing. Sarasota County Schools is thankful for the continued support of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County to help us honor these incredible teachers!”
All 43 school-based Teacher of the Year finalists will be honored, and one of the three finalists will be named the overall Sarasota County Teacher of the Year, at the Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s Ignite Education Awards Celebration on Dec. 9 at Michael’s on East.
The district Teacher of the Year will represent Sarasota County Schools at the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program and will serve as a spokesperson for and representative of the teaching profession at various events throughout 2023.
More information about the Ignite Education Awards Celebration, including ticket availability, will be updated online at EdFoundationSRQ.org/ignite.
About the Teacher of the Year Program
The Ignite Education: Teacher of the Year program is produced by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and is made possible through the funding and support of many corporate and community partners. Each of the three finalists will receive a cash award from the Education Foundation.
About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EdFoundationSRQ.org) is an independent, philanthropic organization with a vision to unite its community to prepare each and every student for life. A partner with Sarasota County Schools, the Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance the potential of all students, promote excellence in teaching, and inspire innovation in education, guided by strategic philanthropy and the belief that education changes lives.
About Sarasota County Schools
Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional, and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 55 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,500 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004 and have been awarded the Mid-Sized School District of the Year by the University of Cambridge. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. Working as one, we actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on social media (@sarasotaschools) or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.