EDDYs Impact: Elevating and empowering teacher leaders


Research shows that great teachers have a profound impact on student learning. And we don’t have enough of them – Duval County, like the rest of our state and our country, is facing a serious teacher shortage. 

That’s why JPEF has turned the EDDY Awards, Jacksonville’s teacher of the year celebration, into a yearlong experience for Duval’s top teachers designed to celebrate, elevate and empower teacher leaders and retain them in the classroom.

Through the EDDYs Experience, Duval County’s greatest teachers get to:

  • Attend a dynamic orientation and dinner at the Jags stadium, where they can network with other teachers, meet the superintendent and hear from the Duval County Teacher of the Year
  • Join an exclusive teachers-only tailgate party and Jaguars game
  • Participate in an all-day learning session, Access and Equity Day, about how teachers can support equitable learning outcomes for students
  • Be honored onstage at the upscale EDDY Awards gala, dinner and after party
  • Spend two weeks learning together through the e-cubed summer fellowship for the five finalists

This year, we asked the 182 school-level teachers of the year to give us feedback about their experience. More than 130 responded, and here’s what they said.

EDDYs gala: 88% of TOYs agreed or strongly agreed that the EDDYs gala made them more likely to remain a public school classroom teacher in Duval County. One teacher said, "The EDDYs were AWESOME! Honestly, next to Orientation, the EDDYs made me feel celebrated and like a 'superstar.'"

Orientation and tailgate: 100% of TOYs said the Orientation and the tailgate each made them feel celebrated and honored for their contributions to the teaching profession. As one teacher put it, "It was so nice and definitely a treat that I don't normally get as a teacher!! Loved it!!"

Access and Equity Day: 93% of TOYs said they felt better equipped to take on leadership opportunities in their school and community, and 96% of TOYs said the information they learned will impact their teaching practices.

We also asked teachers how being a teacher of the year has allowed them to take on leadership roles in their schools. Here’s what they said:

  • "I became a part of the TEACH Conference Steering Committee and a professional learning online network for math. I was also asked to lead learning opportunities for teachers at my school during Early Dismissal and to submit a proposal to teaching conferences."
  • I have been observed and shadowed by teacher peers, new teachers, and the title has afforded me the opportunity to join in on new training, trials of software, and more!"
  • "I have had some teachers come to observe me. Also have been asked to get certified to be a mentor teacher."
  • "I have been asked to help spearhead our academic parent night, take the lead on policy development for sharing student work with families, and serve as a model classroom for classroom culture."
  • "I have started a new committee at my school to help drive a positive school culture. Also I have been helping even more with the ESE team as I have accepted the role of a ESE teacher here."

These results wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors and donors. Thank you! To learn how you can support the EDDY Awards, please contact Warren Buck, Director of Teacher Leadership, at warren@jaxpef.org.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.