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Teacher Feature: Meet Atlantic Beach Elementary’s Teacher of the Year!

Great teachers work tirelessly to ensure each and every student in our city is prepared to make valuable contributions to our city in life beyond the classroom. That is why the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) is proud to honor the amazing teaching and learning that is happening in Duval County through the Teacher of the Year EDDY Awards program.

The journey begins when teachers are nominated by their colleagues and principals at the school level. From there, teachers are invited to participate in the EDDY Awards Experience where we have the pleasure of celebrating the incredible work happening in their classrooms.

As one way of showcasing these outstanding 177 school-level teachers of the year, we are excited to share their stories with you on our blog through the Teacher of the Year Series. Read on to discover how Rebecca Farinella exemplifies the incredible work happening in Duval County Public Schools.

Meet Rebecca Farinella, Third Grade English-Language Arts Teacher at Atlantic Beach Elementary

I have been an educator in Northeast Florida for over 30 years. Over these years, I have served as a teacher, school coach, district coach and a mentor for teachers going through board certification with the National Board of Professional Standards. As a coach, I was surrounded by experts and had the opportunity to grow and develop as an educator in new ways. I was also able to share my love for teaching with other teachers as well as successes I experienced in my classroom. Currently, I am back in the classroom teaching third-grade ELA.

I love teaching my students to the best HUMANS they can be! My colleagues and I love our students. The community of teachers at Atlantic Beach Elementary is an outstanding example of what can happen to a school when students are loved, honored and empowered.

Atlantic Beach Elementary is unique because it is a Leader in Me school! The Leader in Me program takes the universal principles from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and utilizes them to create a school culture that empowers all students to be leaders and fosters 21st-century life skills. This is a BIG deal for Atlantic Beach Elementary and we’re fortunate to have community support in this effort.

As I continue to grow as an educator, I appreciate meaningful professional development experiences. I am currently involved in Leader in Me training. In the past, I have participated in intensive training with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In addition, I attended instruction training on the Common Core State Standards and Florida State Standards.

When I transitioned back to the classroom from my coach position, I felt so INSPIRED: I was inspired by the joy that can only be found when teaching children and I was inspired by the educators that I served. Being in the classroom is a gift.

Jacksonville’s teachers work hard to improve their students’ lives and our community as a whole. Please join JPEF in congratulating Rebecca Farinella as the 2017-2018 Atlantic Beach Elementary Teacher of the Year! Leave a comment for Rebecca below or share your congratulations via facebook or twitter with the hashtag #EDDYAwardsJax.

Join us on Feb. 2 at the 27th Annual EDDYs Awards to celebrate Duval’s teachers of the year! Buy tickets here.