– Tammy Jerkins, a math teacher at Leesburg High School, has been named Lake
County Schools’ 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.
announcement was made at a celebration hosted by the Educational Foundation of
Lake County on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora.
prizes include a 2016 Honda Civic from Jenkins Auto Group, Teacher of the Year
ring from Jostens, $500 gas card from Insight Financial, annual passes from Walt
Disney World, Leadership Lake County class scholarship, and gift certificates
and gifts totaling more than $800.
Jerkins has been a teacher 17 years, 13 of which have been as
a math teacher at Leesburg High School. Last year she taught Math for College
Readiness, a class that seniors with college potential are placed in because
they are not mathematically ready to enter college. The students take the PERT
(Post-secondary Education Readiness Test) as their final exam, and 69 percent
passed and were able to enter Florida colleges and take math classes for credit
instead of non-credit remedial math courses.
She also taught Pre-Calculus Honors and said she saw a
100-point math gain in SAT scores among her students.
While test scores offer helpful data, Ms. Jerkins said the
best feedback comes from students who have graduated high school and are now in
college. “Every year, I have students return to see me and tell me that they
are succeeding in their math classes,” she wrote. “Just last month, three students
showed up at my classroom door on different occasions to thank me for preparing
them for college. Those are the best days a teacher can have.”
Teacher of the Year finalists Anthony Ritter of Eustis
Heights Elementary and Jessica Simmons of Cecil B. Gray Elementary each
received over $600 in gift cards, Disney passes and $1,000 from the Jenkins
Auto Group, for their leadership in education.
Teacher of the Year is an annual competition led by the Florida Department of
Education. Lake County Schools’ division is hosted by the Educational
Foundation of Lake County.