Jacksonville Public Education Fund Announces the Nominees for 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year

More than 175 teachers were nominated for their school's honor during the 2020-2021 school year.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 21, 2020 — The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is proud to announce the Teachers of the Year in public schools across Duval County, after principals nominated more than 175 outstanding educators for the district’s top teaching honor of 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year.

The teachers will go on to be considered as semi-finalists and finalists for the county’s top teaching honor and they will be invited to apply for JPEF’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, a professional learning community that connects teacher leaders with best practices in equity and school quality, to drive measurable improvements in their schools. JPEF is also proud to welcome a new title sponsor for the county’s top teaching honor – VyStar Credit Union, the largest credit union headquartered in Northeast Florida.

This year, JPEF is proud to host the EDDY Awards on January 27, 2020, with an exciting new format in the celebration’s 30th year. The event will take place as a small elegant luncheon and an hourlong TV Special, the EDDY Awards: Live from Jacksonville! Through a partnership with Channel 4/The Local Station, News4Jax Morning Show anchor Melanie Lawson will take audiences live to the event, where the winner of the top honor will be announced as school communities tune in to watch across the county.

“We are so proud to celebrate teachers this year, as our community and country are seeing, like never before, the critical role our schools and teachers play,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “We are also so proud to support them through a professional learning community during this challenging year.”

Through the Teacher Leadership Initiative, JPEF will offer Teachers of the Year an unparalleled learning opportunity with other leading teachers across the county. Teachers will be able to choose an area of study and learn from leading education experts, including from partner organizations such as TNTP and Hope Street Inc., which specializes in trauma-informed teaching. Then, they will engage in cohorts with teacher leader coaches who were selected to facilitate learning through a rigorous application process. Over the year, they will work on action research projects in their schools to make a lasting impact on equity and school quality.

“Research shows teachers value professional learning with their peers that they guide themselves,” said Warren Buck, JPEF Director of Teacher Leadership and a former teacher and principal in Duval County. “Our Teacher Leadership Initiative is designed to help retain great teachers in Duval County by supporting their leadership in schools.”

School-level Teachers of the Year will be eligible to apply for the county-wide honor of VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year. The winner of the Duval County title will go on to compete for the state-wide Florida Teacher of the Year.

Contact Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (352) 359-2393 or stephanie@jaxpef.org for more information.


About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent think-and-do tank working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color in partnership with public schools. We identify and spread best practices in equity and school quality through our strategic partnerships and initiatives with school leaders, teachers and parents.



Philip Randolph Career Academies - Jacqueline Williams

Abess Park Elementary School - Heath Matz

Alden Road Exceptional Student Center - Cathlyn Cabuco

Alfred I. duPont Middle School - Augustine Kaiwa

Alimacani Elementary School - Aida Oliver

Andrew A. Robinson Elementary - Kiana Hendon

Andrew Jackson High - Shamariton Ashley

Annie R. Morgan Elementary School - Katasha Jackman

Arlington Elementary - Rishena Hicks

Arlington Heights Elementary - Karla Meyer

Arlington Middle School - Sonya Russell

Atlantic Beach Elementary - Spencer Carper

Atlantic Coast High School - Donna Mathis

Baldwin Middle-Senior High - Susan Seagraves

Bartram Springs Elementary - Rebecca Huth

Bayview Elementary School - Paulya Fields

Beauclerc Elementary - Emma Araya

Biltmore Elementary - Amneris Rodriguez-Lugo

Biscayne Elementary - Gladys Barrington

Biscayne High School - Matthew Janus

Brentwood Elementary School of the Arts - Anne Tomko

BridgePrep Academy of Duval - Katherine Sands

Brookview Elementary School - Lynn Bartlett

Carter G. Woodson Elementary - Kenneth Ford

Cedar Hills Elementary School - Kayla Santiago

Central Riverside Elementary - Michelle Schurott

Chaffee Trail Elementary - Jonalyn Tamares

Chets Creek Elementary - Christine Bell

Chimney Lakes Elementary - Stacey Eliason

Crown Point Elementary School - Rachel Nunnally

Crystal Springs Elementary - Sherri Johnson

Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts - Bradley Winkler

Dinsmore Elementary - Wendy Prince

Don Brewer Elementary - Tracey Brown

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts - Brad Lyda

Duval Charter School at Mandarin - Maria Chachra

Duncan U. Fletcher High School - Nicole Gilbert

 Duncan U. Fletcher Middle School - Lynette Smiley-Belle

Duval Charter School at Southside - Ivania Woodmore

Duval MYcroSchool - Hillary Lee

Duval Virtual Instruction Academy - Leslie Jones

Edward H. White High School - Cassandra Howell

Englewood Elementary School - Megan Marsh

Englewood High School - Shagara Bradshaw

Enterprise Learning Academy - Georgette Cooper

First Coast High School - Kaylee Petik

Fishweir Elementary - Susan Burns

Florida Cyber Charter Academy - Samantha Kimmel

Fort Caroline Elementary - Marjorie Sellers

Fort Caroline Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts - Tikila Shakespeare

Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology - Tiffany Abbott

Garden City Elementary - Leslie Wilkinson

George Washington Carver Elementary School - Tess Nettles

Global Outreach Charter Academy - Miyumi Pierce

Grand Park Education Center - Monte King

GRASP Academy - Keaton Spillman

Greenfield Elementary School - Jill Vaccaro

Greenland Pines Elementary - Stephanie Boswell

Gregory Drive Elementary School - Janelle Rodriguez

Hendricks Avenue Elementary - Ashley Halil

Henry F. Kite Elementary - Lakeshia Love

Highlands Elementary School - Natalie Miller

Highlands Middle School - Blakely Johnson-Lee

Hogan-Spring Glen Elementary - Kimberly Gilmore-Bryant

Holiday Hill Elementary - Danielle Hernandez

Hyde Grove Elementary School - Mia Dughi

Hyde Park Elementary - Jordan Swartz

J. Allen Axson Montessori School - Robyne Dubberly

J.E.B. Stuart Middle School - Jamel Dunn

Jacksonville Beach Elementary - Lori Cheanvechai

Jacksonville Heights Elementary - April McRae

Jacksonville Youth Academy/Impact House - Tashaunda Lynch

James Weldon Johnson - Charlotte Wintz

Jean Ribault High School - Quenitra Sams

Jean Ribault Middle School - Jamie Bailey

Jefferson Davis Middle School - Lajuana Smith-Jones

John E. Ford PK-8 English/Spanish Montessori - Staci Pendry

John Stockton Elementary - Emma Johns

Joseph Finegan Elementary - Brittany Barbatelli

Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership - Edward Grant

Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School - Mathew Schemer

Kernan Middle School - Andrew Grindle

Kernan Trail - Jill Snodgrass

Kings Trail Elementary - Hailey Ellis

KIPP Bessie Coleman Academy - Logan McNatt

KIPP Impact Academy - Jalencia Singleton

KIPP VOICE Academy - Ayana Wilkins

Kirby-Smith Middle School - Cherie Montoya

Lake Lucina Elementary - Kimberly Parker

Lake Shore Middle School - Alicia Henderson

Landmark Middle School - Andrew Ohmann

LaVilla School of the Arts - Karen Sheard

Lone Star Charter High School - Alexandra Kanioros

Lone Star Elementary - Sara Cameron

Long Branch Elementary School - Jill Fritz

Loretto Elementary - Joan Vogt

Louis Sheffield Elementary School - Alexis Bizzell

Love Grove Elementary - Shannon McKinney

Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary - Vicki Wall

Mandarin High School - Jim Schmitt

Mandarin Middle School - Kathy Stilley

Mandarin Oaks Elementary - Margaret Rogero-Hastings

Marine Science Education Center - Charles Carney

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School - Shyrell Brown

Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School - Katie Kiefaber

Mattie V. Rutherford Middle School Alternative Education - Alfreda Denson-Butler

Mayport Coastal Sciences Elementary School - Maria McMahon

Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School - Donyale Garvey

Merrill Road Elementary - Jeanette Mueller

Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center - Avery Vaughn

Neptune Beach Elementary - Karly Heal

New Berlin Elementary - Lauren Herrington

Normandy Village Elementary School - Samantha Ulmer-Harris

North Shore Elementary School - Kenya Mayhew

Northwestern Legends Elementary School - Teva Monroe

Oak Hill Academy - Demetria Johnson

Oceanway Elementary School - Amy Elliott

Oceanway School - Rebekkah Link

Ortega Elementary - Maddie Ragland

Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center - Beverly Castro

Parkwood Heights Elementary - Donna Poole

Paxon School for Advanced Studies - Hannah Lakatos

Pickett Elementary - Rebecca Lester

Pine Estates Elementary School - Lindsay Williams

Pine Forest School of the Arts - Michelle Lovelace

Pinedale Elementary School - Melanie Mitchell

R. V. Daniels Elementary - Terrence Sellars

Ramona Boulevard Elementary School - Latina Brewer

Reynolds Lane Elementary - Allison Warnock

Richard Lewis Brown GIfted & Academically Talented Academy - Jameea Jackson-Gaines

River City Science Academy - Jessie Crews

River City Science Academy at Mandarin - Kerry Billingsley

River City Science Academy Elementary - Nicole Spanbauer

River City Science Academy Innovation - Erica Leatherbarrow

Robert E. Lee High School - Lindsay Jones

Rufus E. Payne Elementary School - Evelyn Garland

Ruth N. Upson Elementary School - Sara Dean

Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary - Melanie Jackson

Sabal Palm Elementary - Maryjane Cassette

Sadie T. Tillis Elementary School - Stephanie Scannapieco

Sallye B. Mathis Elementary - Devin Moore

Samuel A. Hull Elementary - Kory Von Leue

Samuel Wolfson School for Advanced Studies - Brandi Benga

San Jose Elementary - Leah Teuschel

San Jose Prep - Kari O'Connor

San Jose Primary - Lisa Herring

San Mateo Elementary - Erica Franklin

San Pablo Elementary School - Heather Ledford

Sandalwood High School - Emily Louis

Seabreeze Elementary - Casey Kyne

Smart Pope Livingston Elementary School - Laronya Finn

Somerset Academy Eagle Campus - Sabrina Martinez

Somerset Academy Eagle Campus - Karen Cleare

Southside Estates Elementary School - Katy Lambert

Southside Middle School - Nadine Ebri

Spring Park Elementary - Chelsea Ragan

Stanton College Preparatory School - Amanda Hohne

Stonewall Jackson Elementary School - Leah O'Connor

Terry Parker High School - Rebecca LaMance

Susie E Tolbert Elementary - Ta'Nee Rogers

The Bridge to Success Academy at West Jacksonville - Andrew Goldberg

The Bridge to Success Academy at West Jacksonville (High) - Richanda Fudge

The LEADERSHIP Academy - Takita Williams

Thomas Jefferson Elementary - Michele Foerman

Tiger Academy - Jasmine Butler

Timucuan Elementary - Erica Robinson

Twin Lakes Academy Elementary - Anthony Catamas

Twin Lakes Academy Middle School - Sequan Curry

Venetia Elementary - Shannon Miller

Waterleaf Elementary - Kimberly Vilagi

Waverly Academy - Hailey Molloy

Wayman Academy of the Arts - Juliette Hammonds

West Riverside Elementary - Gabriella Solano

Westside High School - Nicole Richmond

Westview PreK-8 - Brittiany Smalls

Whitehouse Elementary – Nancy Lucas

William M. Raines High School - Shayla Baylock

Windy Hill Elementary School - Sheila Cullum

Woodland Acres Elementary - Tamara Halyard





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