Celebrating and empowering great teachers increases retention rates and leads to more teachers feeling satisfied with their job. At Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF), we believe that honoring the incredible work of Duval County’s teachers is of the utmost importance.
As a part of this year’s EDDYs Experience, the five finalists for the Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year were offered a two-week fellowship as a culminating experience for their year of celebration. Stephanie Bellino, Tabetha Cox, Alicia Lloyd, Will Smith, and Abe Reising joined the JPEF team for a specially cultivated learning experience that began on July 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The finalists, along with myself and Brandi Berry from the Professional Development Department at Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), spent four days learning at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) Conference. During this time, participants completed a day of service at Project 150, engaged with four problems of practice (Student Engagement, Social Emotional Learning, Equity, and Teacher Leadership), and networked with an amazing group of teachers from across the country.
During the second week of the Fellowship, the team worked on a variety of tasks in the JPEF offices. They spent much of the first day summarizing their learning from the NNSTOY conference. They also had the opportunity to meet with Board Member Becki Couch.
Throughout the week, they had the privilege of meeting with School Board Member Warren Jones and Vice Chair Lori Hershey. The finalists were also invited to a special reception where they got to meet and learn from our newly appointed Superintendent, Dr. Diana Greene.
In addition, the team also helped inform the 2019 EDDYs Experience events as well as made plans to join an area or final selection committee during this year’s nomination and selection process. The finalists are also developing a short video that highlights their learning and experience as the Inaugural E-Cubed Summer Fellows. Stay Tuned!