Return to Headlines

Tammy Jerkins of Leesburg High is district’s Teacher of the Year


TAVARES – Tammy Jerkins, a math teacher at Leesburg High School, has been named Lake County Schools’ 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.
The announcement was made at a celebration hosted by the Educational Foundation of Lake County on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora.
Her 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.

Florida 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.