2018 – 2019

August – Rebecca Jackson – J.D. Floyd

Nomination – JD Floyd Elementary would like to nominate Rebecca Jackson for Thank A Teacher. Becky is a great cheerleader for both students and staff. She has been teaching our Character Education class on our Specials Rotation for the last three years. In Character Education she teaches Zones of Regulation, our PBS expectations, and weaves in anti-bullying and how to be a friend into daily lessons. Becky has worked hard on our PBS program and JD Floyd has been a Gold School for two years in a row. During the summer months Becky attended several trainings to enhance her own learning and to share with her students and colleagues. She brought back to administration the invitation to have NAMI come speak with our staff on recognizing the signs of mental illness in our students. Becky also attended a training at Dale Carnegie with Bob Feckner and was so excited by all he presented. She shared with us and now he will be visiting our leadership team to discuss building relationships! Mrs. Jackson has embraced her position as our Character Ed teacher and is constantly looking for ways for us to bring out the best in our students and staff.  Becky is a true go-getter and great asset to JD Floyd Elementary School.

September – Jennifer Dodson – Central High School

Nomination – Talk about INSPIRING……..she is one of our most inspiring teachers, Ms. Jennifer Dodson. First and most importantly, because we believe she is the very best French teacher in the district, ask any one of her students and fellow teachers. Secondly, and just as important, she gives of herself so freely to help whenever  and wherever  it  is needed throughout the school. Ms. Dodson is our teacher who volunteered to be in charge and lead our “new teachers” at Central High School. You know it is said, “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher Inspires”, Ms. Dodson does each of these things every day for not only our students but for also all of our teachers.  She always has time to listen and help problem solve.  She has also taken on the role this year of learning about and teaching the staff the new program of Chalk. We know everyone will be on task with Jennifer as our leader in this endeavor. We want to give a huge shout out, and even bigger “THANK YOU” to Ms. Jennifer Dodson for all she does to help make sure that “lifeisbetterinbearcountry” at Central High School

October – Laura Williams – Spring Hill Elementary

Nomination – Hello, I want to nominate Mrs. Williams, pre-k teacher at Spring Hill elementary school. She is my son’s teacher. Luke is 4 years old and he has ASD and Apraxia, I would like to nominate her because I continue to be impressed with her and her paraprofessionals at spring hill elementary school. I have always loved and been very proud of this school even I don’t work there (I am currently a long-term sub at  Explorer).  However, that love and pride has increased this year. My  son was enrolled in the FDLRS program on his birthday last year and began school, immediately, as an ESE student with a speech delay/ autism. (making a LOT of PROGRESS). Since starting, I have continued to be impressed with SHES and my ESE son. His teacher had visuals of his schedule on his desk on the first day and a piece of Velcro on his desk for his sensory. The staffing coordinator, Mrs. Debona-Nelson found me in the front office, and sat down next to me, just to ensure If I was doing alright and if I had any questions and just to welcome me again, to the  school and telling me Luke will do great….  amazing encourage  words as a mom sometimes you need to  hear. Mrs. Williams, after I writing all about I was working with my son at home on homework, she replied with a suggestion of checking out  something “manipulatives” based, for us to use at home (not only her but Mrs. Shaquira Speech language pathologist). Making sure my son has the best options for  learning……that….as a parent and a fellow  paraprofessional….is amazing to  hear and see. The structure, empathy and constant communication I have experienced in just these 4-5 weeks of school have started make me SO hopeful for our continued journey at SHES and my sons continued success!!!!! !So THANK YOU, SHES Staff and Mrs. Williams for easing this ESE’s Mamma’s anxiety and truly making her feel like her son is given the absolute BEST SHOT at being successful. A very grateful parent.

November – Rebekah Csont – Winding Waters K-8

Nomination – I’d like to nominate Mrs Csont at Winding Waters K8. Mrs Csont has made all the difference in the world for my son with Aspergers. She has made instant accommodations for his sensory issues. Keeps me  updated  regularly of what he needs to accomplish. His grades have improved immensely, a result of her constant devotion to her duties. Mrs Csont deserves every honor you can give her. Thank you for your consideration.

December – Nicole Rundell – Challenger K-8

Nomination – It is with great honor and admiration that I nominate Nicole Rundell for the  Thank  A Teacher  recognition. She is the  3rd grade ELA Quest teacher. She is my son’s 3rd grade teacher as well as my coworker and  I  cannot express  just  home  much she is appreciated. She has designed her classroom to accommodate the needs of a very diverse group of learners. Taking into account that they each come with their own strengths as well as their challenges she has embraced each and every learner as an individual. She represents the intermediate grades on the Gifted Advisory Counsel and is always looking for resources to better meet the needs of the gifted learner. She challenges each student to reach their full potential both academically and socially. It is a difficult task to challenge some of these students in the appropriate way and Nicole does so every day. It takes a very special person to design lessons and maintain a classroom full of gifted thinkers and I marvel at her abilities every day. This is why I nominate Nicole Rundell for Thank A Teacher!

January – Lisa VanCleave – Chocachatti

Nomination – Miss Vancleave deserved to be thanked because she is a fabulous first grade teacher! She has many great qualities, however the one that sticks out the most is her great communication skills. I love to be involved in my child’s education, and with Mrs. Vancleave I really feel like we are partners, working together to help my child to succeed. She always informs us of things that are going on around the school and in her classroom, and I am always aware of what my child is learning in class. Mrs Vancleave advances student learning by creating lessons that the kids want to do! For example, when teaching about sequencing, she allowed the kids to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, following sequential steps. When teaching the students about living versus nonliving, she created a fun file folder project, and allowed the students to investigate real fish versus the snack goldfish. These types of lessons make the students excited about learning, which in turn helps them to retain the information! Mrs. Vancleave is without a doubt a leader in the school! She is the first grade team leader and I often see  her helping other teachers when they  have questions. One project that Mrs. Vancleave has been involved in that is contributed to the improvement of the  overall school culture is the SIP committee. She has attended meetings and help to create the school’s school improvement plan.

February – Lisa Kepner – Eastside

I would like to send a huge thank you to  Mrs. Lisa Kepner at  Eastside  Elementary School.  Mrs. Kepner  was my daughter’s kindergarten teacher for the 2017-2018  school  year.  She  then  chose  to  roll  up  as a  first  grade  teacher.  A letter was sent home asking if we wanted to roll  up with  Mrs. Kepner.  And  I  immediately said “YES!  I  want  my daughter in your class again!!” I couldn’t sign the paper fast enough! Mrs. Kepner instilled a love of learning in my daughter in kindergarten and has fostered that love in first grade. Rosalie, my daughter, has learned so much from Mrs. Kepner. She earned the SUPER READER status in  kindergarten  and  again  in first grade.  Everywhere  we go, she  reads what words she sees. She is also a math wiz…thanks to  Mrs.  Kepner.  She  knows her  facts,  understands concepts  (that  I don’t remember learning that young), can  name shapes  and  figures…not  just  the  basic  ones.  She  knows  hexagon, pentagon, rhombus, etc. Beyond the learning, and possibly more important, is the culture of respect in Mrs.  Kepner’s classroom.   She truly  models  to  students what is acceptable  and  what  is not.   Rosalie  respects  Mrs.  Kepner so  much  that I have even told her I was going to tell Mrs. Kepner when  she  was doing something  she  wasn’t supposed  to  be doing at home.  Rosalie  immediately  stopped.  She  respects  her  that  much!   Mrs.  Kepner  also  respects  her  students…and  they can tell. She genuinely cares for their  safety.Speaking of  safety:  With  the  new  active  shooter  drills  that  have  to  take place along with the direct language that  is  used  with the  students,  Mrs.  Kepner  has  assured  her students,  and  parents, that she will protect our children, her students. Rosalie came home and talked with me about the latest  drill and  Rosalie assured me that Mrs. Kepner will protect  her from  “bad  guys.”  As a  parent,  it  is very  reassuring  to  know and feel that your child is safe. Mrs. Kepner truly needs to be recognized and thanked!

March – Jessie Leasure – D.S. Parrott

Nomination – I would like to thank and nominate Ms. Jessie Leasure. Ms. Leasure is an innovative 6th grade science teacher who continues to find ways to welcome in and practice new initiatives in her classroom for the betterment of the student’s education. Examples of such can be technology tools such as Flipgrid where her classes can communicate with her other classes throughout the day, regardless of different periods in the day. Another initiative where she is leading the way is providing opportunity for students voices on a daily basis through student accountable talk. Her ability to keep students involved throughout a lesson is reason enough to be nominated. Come by and check it out.

April – Brooke Gill – Deltona Elementary

Nomination – I would like to nominate Mrs. Gill, a fourth grade teacher, from Deltona Elementary. She is a wonderful teacher. She takes the time to listen to every student’s concern and joys in the classroom. She will make sure everyone is having fun while they are learning in the class. She is studying now for the FSA with them but in the best way possible. She is decorating her classroom tomorrow so the kids see how fun school can be and take some of the stress away from studying for the FSA. The kids smile every day as they enter her classroom. I really would love to see her smile like her students do.

May – Ronica Guerrier – Springstead High School

I am contacting you because I would like to nominate Mrs. Ronica Guerrier for May’s “Thank A Teacher” program. She is an English teacher at Springstead High School and was selected as Springstead’s January Teacher of the Month. Previously she taught at CK-8 and participated every year in Rotary’s Brain Bowl for Middle School Students. In addition to her teaching duties, since August 2018 she has also been the teacher-sponsor of the Springstead Interact Club. My Rotary Club is the main sponsor. We attend her twice-a-month Interact Club meetings to observe, offer guidance, suggestions, and to assist. She and her Interact students help and participate in all of Rotary’s fundraisers for the community. Since Mrs. Guerrier became the sponsor only nine months ago, the Interact Club has grown from just a handful of members to  over 70 active committed  students. This growth in membership  has all been due to  her dedication to the mission of Interact (“Service  Above Self”) coupled with her never-ending enthusiasm, plus the admiration and respect she has earned from her students. She is teaching our freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior young people the importance of helping those Hernando County residents who are among the less fortunate, among the most in need, and among the most vulnerable. In other words, giving back to their hometown community. Mrs. Guerrier has them involved in food drives for the hungry, holiday gifting for needy children through their Christmas  Angels program, servers at homeless shelters, assisting Jericho Road Ministries with fundraising drives, and tutoring fellow classmen who need academic help. Next month her plans are to prepare goodie bags for each Springstead teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. Attached is a short presentation she showed at the last Interact meeting to show the Club’s many accomplishments due to  her excellent leadership. She also prepared Memory Books of  Club activity pictures for the students and Rotary members as a keepsake and to show future Clubs. She has also volunteered the Interact Club to be the catalyst for the school district for a creative new anti-bullying program that has had wonderful success at other schools in Florida. This program was created by a member of Rotary in Lee County. When I approached Ronica about becoming involved with it to help save children’s lives, she didn’t hesitate one second!! She is also responsible for the increased enrollment in Advanced Placement(AP) courses and will be going to training this summer. I could go on and on and on about the wonderful things she is doing with her students in the Interact Club to teach them the importance of community service  and the importance of helping those less fortunate. Her goal is to  instill these things in them while they are young so that when they become adults, they will carry over these learned lessons and get involved with organizations such as Rotary. All of us at Rotary absolutely  love this lady. Her spirit, her constant smile, her determination, her never ending positive attitude, her dedication to these young people, her love of what she is doing is uplifting to all of us, and, if you go to one of her Interact meetings, very highly contagious!!