Julia Mayeshiba named 2023 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year
Andrew Jackson High School teacher selected at the 32nd Annual EDDY Awards
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., — Julia Mayeshiba, a math and physics teacher at Andrew Jackson High School, was named the 2023 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year at the 32nd Annual EDDY Awards Friday, Feb. 10. Mayeshiba, who has been teaching for four years, was selected from among 180 Teachers of the Year by a committee of volunteers.
Mayeshiba graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree and then received a Master’s Degree in secondary education from the University of North Florida in 2019 while serving as an AmeriCorps Teacher Resident. Along with being a WozED Certified STEM Trainer, she is a Robert Noyce National Science Foundation Teaching Fellow.
She began teaching at Andrew Jackson High School in 2019 and since then has initiated an after-school tutoring system for math and physics students; served on the Positive Behavior Intervention Support Team to implement school-wide incentives to reward good student behaviors; and forged ongoing partnerships with STEM 2Hub and WozED to initiate a school-based drone technology program. She is also the Senior Class Sponsor.
Mayeshiba said what inspires her as an educator is, “transforming my students’ self-image surrounding math and science. As a teacher I not only have the power to see the best in all my students, but I also have the power to bring it into a light that students can see for themselves. By building relationships and getting to know students individually, I can see each student’s potential and speak to it every day and in every interaction.”
As the 2023 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year, Mayeshiba will go on to compete for the statewide title. She said as the Duval County Teacher of the Year, “My primary message would be that everyone has a role to play to help the children of Duval County achieve greatness. Whether you are a teacher, parent, grandparent, neighbor, or even if you have no direct connection to my students, you have a role to play and valuable gifts and insights to offer our kids.”
“Ms. Mayeshiba’s lessons are engaging, hands-on, and filled with thought-provoking investigations to get students out of their seats and learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene.
“She honors her students by making them work hard while making difficult concepts accessible to all. She is a tremendous example of the outstanding instruction happening in classrooms throughout Duval County and I am very proud to have her representing us as our Teacher of the Year.”
“We would like to congratulate Julia Mayeshiba on being named the 2023 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year," said VyStar Credit Union President/CEO Brian Wolfburg. "Our credit union appreciates the meaningful role that educators have in supporting students and building stronger communities. We are proud to recognize their important work through events like the EDDYs and we will continue to find impactful ways to invest in their success.”
The EDDY Awards teacher of the year program is hosted by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and is accompanied by a year-long effort to celebrate and elevate Duval County’s best public-school educators.
“The EDDYs give us an opportunity to recognize excellence in education and the professionals who do so much for our students every single day,” said Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, president of JPEF. “We are honored to celebrate them and showcase the work they are doing in Duval County schools. We know the key to closing the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color lies in supporting our teachers and empowering them in their work. We congratulate Ms. Mayeshiba for being named the 2023 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year and look forward to sharing her outstanding accomplishments in the Florida Teacher of the Year process.”
Each of the 180 Teachers of the Year are also eligible for on-going professional learning opportunities through JPEF. Through these opportunities teachers are equipped with research and expertise to implement equity-focused best practices in their schools.
In addition to a cash prize and a classroom grant thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Duval County and Florida Blue, Mayeshiba will join the Jacksonville Public Education Fund Board of Directors as an ex-officio member for the next year, as is tradition with every VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year.
Teachers of the year from 180 schools were nominated, and evaluated by committees of volunteers, who ultimately narrowed the down to 15 semi-finalists, and then five finalist.