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15 semi-finalists named for 2015 Duval County Teacher of the Year

Fifteen outstanding educators will advance on to the next selection round of the EDDY Awards

Fifteen outstanding public school teachers today were named semi-finalists for the 2015 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year.

The semi-finalists were selected from the Teachers of the Year nominated by every public school in Duval County. From the 15 semi-finalists, five finalists will be selected. The winner will be named 2015 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year at the EDDY Awards on Wednesday, March 11 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets to the EDDY Awards are available at eddyawardsjax.org. The program is an initiative of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

Honoring the county's most exceptional educators, the EDDY Awards have evolved over the last few years into a year-long initiative building a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the community and who work to improve our schools, accelerate student achievement and elevate the teaching profession.

Meet the semi-finalists below!

-- Deirdre

 

Natalie_BlackburnNatalie Blackburn

Louis Sheffield Elementary, 4th Grade ESE

"I have witnessed firsthand Ms. Blackburn's ability to walk in during any lesson and immediately take part in it. She livens up any discussion and engages the students in activities. She brings in a multitude of strategies to the class to help the struggling readers. Many of her students who initially start with her are at least two to three grade levels below where they should be. With her continued support, she is often able to get them near grade level."

-- Christine Snyder, Teacher, Louis Sheffield Elementary

 

Blumberg_ChristianneChristianne Blumberg

LaVilla Middle School of the Arts, 8th Grade Language Arts and Reading

"Whether it's taking additional time with a student after school, communicating with parents, or trying out new methods, Mrs. Blumberg continually finds ways to ensure that each and every student reaches their maximum potential. On several occasions I have met with parents that have told me how thankful they are for Mrs. Blumberg being their child's teacher."

-- Bradley Gianneschi, Teacher, LaVilla Middle School of the Arts

 

 

Bochese_JulieJulie Bochese

Windy Hill Elementary, 2nd Grade

"Julie not only consistently meets her professional development and employment responsibilities, but also has been an outstanding team player throughout the building. Her dedication to her work, competitive spirit, and excellent classroom management qualities enhance her talents in the field of education."

-- Calvin Reddick, Jr., Principal, Windy Hill Elementary

 

 

 

Bostic -Jones _MichaelMichael Bostic-Jones

William M. Raines High School, 11th Grade US History

"Mr. Bostic-Jones is one of the wisest people I know even at his age. His class was so informational yet so realistic. Everything he taught us had meaning. We learned something different every single day. He stressed the importance of being aware of the world around you. He taught me to appreciate life as I know it and embrace the word around me."  

-- Infini Kimbrough, Student, William H. Raines High School

 

 

Danita_ClarkDanita Clark

Pinedale Elementary, 1st - 3rd Grades ESE

"Ms. Clark sets high, but not unreasonable, standards for her students and she gives them the tools to succeed. Students are motivated and intellectually stimulated in her classroom. She uses successful teaching techniques with her students to help them pass standardized tests. She had a gift for making her students think."

-- Ruby Cazeau, Parent, Pinedale Elementary

 

 

Lori_CraftonLori Crafton

Mayport Elementary, 5th Grade English Language Arts

"Lori displays the flexibility and dedication necessary to assist our students in navigating the many challenges faced in education. Her positive attitude and willingness to learn plays an important role in our increasing educational responsibilities. Lori's dedication to children, families and our community is exemplified through her numerous commitments and hours spent in and out of the classroom."

-- Angela Roselle, Teacher, Mayport Elementary

 

 

CSuzanne_EvansC. Suzanne Evans

Fishweir Elementary, 3rd Grade English Language Arts

"Ms. Evans helped me transition into 'real school'. With her foundation work, it allowed me to get all As in middle school, as well as so far all of Stanton. I loved her style and teaching and it definitely made me flourish in the classroom. She will always be my favorite teacher and the best one I ever had."

-- Callie Sellers, Former Student, John Stockton Elementary

 

 

 

Beth_GannonBeth Gannon

Lone Star Elementary, 3rd Grade English Language Arts

"Beth is an energetic, positive individual who was 'born to be a teacher'. Her passion for learning comes through daily in her classroom. Though she and her co-teacher have 31 students in one room, the learning atmosphere is one of active student engagement every day. Her lessons provide students with rigorous content presented in fun ways."

-- Amy Lingren, Principal, Lone Star Elementary

 

 

Donna_GuthrieDonna Guthrie

Jacksonville Beach Elementary, K-5th Grades Art

"Perhaps what makes Donna Guthrie a unique teacher and inspiration to us all is that whether she is painting backdrops and scenery for the annual school musical, inviting parents to 'do Art' with their child, or simply teaching five to eleven-year-olds daily, Donna embraces challenge with gusto and reminds adults and children to trust their minds and creative spirits."

-- Kathryn LaPointe, Teacher, Jacksonville Beach Elementary

 

 

Sabrina_HallSabrina Hall

Andrew Jackson High School, 9th Grade Mathematics

"Sabrina is one of the best educators I've witnessed within our profession. Our job isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, but Mrs. Hall does it effortlessly! Committed to the Andrew Jackson community, Mrs. Hall not only spends hours preparing lessons for her students; she's a mentor for the Jacksonville Teacher Residency Program, serves as our campus Professional Development Facilitator and mathematics chair."

-- Evan Daniels, Principal, Andrew Jackson High School

 

 

Kifimbo_Holloway-ParnellKifimbo Holloway-Parnell

Kirby Smith Middle School, 8th Grade Language Arts

"Mrs. Parnell is an outstanding teacher. Her unique and fun attitude can make every class fun and interesting. She usually pairs the students in groups with people that they would never associate with on their own. She always says, 'there's a reason for my madness'. This has proven to be true because even though she does outrageous things, she does it for the benefit of us and our education."

-- Kayla Hicks, Student, Kirby Smith Middle School

 

Jane_MonksJane Monks

Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center, PreK-12th Grades ESE Sensory Arts

"It is hard to put into words just how much of an impact Mrs. Monk has had on our lives. Her talents go beyond that of a teacher. It takes a special person to choose special education. Mrs. Monk's perseverance and determination taught my daughter many things people take for granted. There is nothing she will not do in order to assist the students in reaching their fullest potential. She is truly an exceptional person and educator."

-- Tami Gressman, Parent, Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center


 Ashley_RussellAshley Russell

Chets Creek Elementary , 3rd Grade

"Miss Russell is an extraordinary teacher with an innate talent for delivering focused, interactive and purposeful standards-based math instruction. With impeccable organizational skills and meticulous planning, she maximizes every minute of her teaching time for optimal instruction and learning. She engages and motivates, so that ALL students can achieve their academic potential."

-- Debbie Rossignol, Teacher, Chets Creek Elementary

 

 

Jill_SullivanJill Sullivan

Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School, 7th & 8th Grades Science

"Mrs. Sullivan's classroom is a special place. I've always felt welcome and encouraged to participate in my child's education. It's clear to me that she puts the needs of her students first and that she is genuinely interested in their emotional wellbeing, in addition to their academic success."

-- Kimberly Carter, Parent, Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School

 

 

Terry_WoodliefTerry Woodlief

Central Riverside Elementary, K-5th Grades Visual Arts

"I have always known Terry to be an excellent teacher. What I came to realize is that she is also an excellent teacher OF teachers. She has been instrumental through the years in providing workshops for our teachers, sharing best practices, lesson plans and ways to motivate and move teachers into the 21st century regarding technology and social media. She believes all students have the ability to learn and to learn in various ways."

-- Jack Matthews, District Specialist, Visual Arts Programs K-12