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Sarasota County Schools Announces Women’s History Month “Honoring Our Own” Award Recipients

SARASOTA COUNTY, March 6, 2019 – In honor of Women’s History Month, Sarasota County Schools recently recognized three female educators for their impact on and contributions to our community. Future educator Sydney Burrows, current educator Sue D'Angelo and legacy educator Debbie Shults were recognized during a special presentation at the most recent School Board meeting.

The school district believes education is a life-long pursuit and is committed to highlighting future educators – students who have been inspired to pursue a career in the education field; current educators – a teacher, administrator or staff member who goes beyond to promote positive outcomes for all students; and legacy educators – individuals who have worked with the school district to create change and inspire new generations of students to excel. Each month, Sarasota County Schools will be recognizing an exemplary group of educators as a demonstration of our appreciation for their contributions. Please join us as we “honor our own” in celebration of Women’s History Month:

Future Educator: Sydney Burrows

Sydney Burrows is a senior at North Port High School. Current president of her school’s Florida Future Educators of America club, it is no surprise that Sydney has aspired to become a teacher from a very young age. She credits several former teachers with sparking her continually growing passion for learning and explaining discoveries to others. Sydney looks forward to becoming a mathematics teacher, and is hopeful that she, too, will be able to impart valuable knowledge and encourage her students to actively listen, openly engage and genuinely connect with the world around them.

Current Educator: Sue D’Angelo

Ms. Sue D’Angelo has been teaching for over 30 years, serving as a third, fourth and fifth grade teacher, but more recently as a Mathematics Program Specialist for Sarasota County Schools. She has also taught the Math Methods class at the University of South Florida for over 20 years, and excitedly shares that many of the colleagues she enjoys today at the district are former students. Described by others as “inspiring” and “full of enthusiasm”, Sue says she is just as passionate about positively impacting students and teachers now as she was on the first day of her teaching career. She believes that teaching is a craft that must be continually fine-tuned to yield the best results for student success. Sue hopes she can be as inspiring to her trainees and students as former teacher trainers were to her.

Legacy Educator: Debbie Shults

Ms. Debbie Shults started her expansive career at Brookside Middle School, where she taught a variety of subjects including English, history, language arts and math. She also served as the school’s literacy coach. Towards the latter part of her career, Debbie taught ninth grade language arts at Suncoast Polytechnical High School and served as a Behavioral Specialist at Sarasota Middle School. Though technically retired, Debbie is still an enthusiastic volunteer and enjoys spending time at McIntosh Middle School. She loves connecting with other retired educators, and always seeks to recruit them as volunteers to help support current students and teachers. Debbie maintains that while teaching can be challenging, there is no greater gift than seeing students become happy, productive citizens contributing back to their community.

Photo Caption, Left to Right: Stephanie Hawkins, student representative for March 5 School Board meeting; Jane Goodwin, chair of the School Board; Caroline Zucker, vice chair of the School Board; Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools; Sue D’Angelo, Current Educator award recipient; Shirley Brown, member of the School Board; Sydney Burrows, Future Educator award recipient; Eric Robinson, member of the School Board; Debbie Shults, Legacy Educator award recipient; Dr. Dawn Clayton, supervisor of Alternative Education, Discipline & Dropout Prevention.


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 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. 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