- Venice High
SCS Teachers of the Year!
SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2022) – Three Sarasota County teachers were surprised on Monday, December 12, when participants of a teacher tribute tour visited with exciting news: the teachers are finalists for the Sarasota County Teacher of the Year Award.
This year’s finalists are:
- Elementary: Timothy Ferguson, Garden Elementary School.
- Middle school: Joseph Conner, Venice Middle School.
- High school: Courtney Smith, Booker High School.
Participants of the teacher tribute tour honored these teachers in person at their schools with flowers and enthusiastic celebration that each school’s leadership planned.
The tribute tour and announcement of the finalists is part of the annual Ignite Education Teacher of the Year Award Celebration, which the Education Foundation of Sarasota County sponsors in partnership with Sarasota County Schools.
“It is so rewarding to be part of this tribute tour,” said Education Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Vigne. “The Teacher of the Year celebration is so important. We value this opportunity to partner with the district to highlight the amazing work of teachers across our county—all their sacrifice, dedication, professionalism, and compassion. So much of what teachers do every day goes unseen, but they are vital in preparing the next generation. They keep our community thriving, and it is an honor to celebrate them.”
Participants in this year’s teacher tribute tour included Vigne; Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brennan Asplen; Assistant Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer Chris Renouf; Elementary Education Executive Director Dr. Brandon Johnson; and Sarasota County School Board members Bridget Ziegler and Tom Edwards. In addition, principals Amy Archer, Tomas Dinverno, and Dr. Rachel Shelley, along with family members of the honorees, participated in their schools’ celebrations.
“I am so proud of all our teachers, particularly our Teachers of the Year,” commented Dr. Brennan Asplen, Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Our teachers have maintained their momentum this school year, despite the unanticipated school closures from hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Their dedication has truly made a difference in the lives of their students. Sarasota County Schools is extremely thankful for the steadfast support of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and their commitment to helping us honor & celebrate our talented teachers.”
This year’s Ignite Education Teacher of the Year Award Celebration will be held on Wednesday, January 18, at the Venice Community Center. All 40 school-based Teacher of the Year finalists will be honored, and one of the three finalists will be named the Sarasota County Teacher of the Year.
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.
This celebration is made possible because of generous sponsors. The Education Foundation is grateful for presenting sponsor Sunset Automotive Group as well as Publix Super Markets Charities and Suncoast Credit Union.
For more information about the Ignite Education Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration, including ticket availability, visit 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 all our 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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.