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61 selections announced for Osceola teacher of the year

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm

By Ken Jackson

Staff Writer

Osceola County’s public and charter schools have chosen their teachers of the year.

From that list, the Osceola School District’s 2015 District Teacher of the Year will be chosen in March to be the successor to the 2014 winner Stephanie Middleton, of Professional and Technical High School (PATHS).

The school nominees are:

Adult Learning Center, Tim Hefner; Alternative Programs, Juvenile Commitment Facility, Montgomery Marsh; Boggy Creek Elementary, Charisse Marin-Landrua;

Celebration K-8, Johnna-Lisa Poulson; Celebration High, Crystal Farrell; Central Avenue Elementary, Amarilis Melendez; Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering, Susan Ellis; Cypress Elementary, Danielle Glassman; Deerwood Elementary, Nicole Toumey; Denn John Middle, Tracey Johnson; Discovery Intermediate, Traci Giardino; East Lake Elementary, Jennifer Sauer; Flora Ridge Elementary, Margaret (Peggy) Ferris; Gateway High, Chris Barletta; Harmony Community, Erika Booth; Harmony High, Cindy Ramdial; Hickory Tree Elementary, Bev Hutchinson; Highlands Elementary, Yassir Paula; Horizon Middle, Teresa Haderle; Kissimmee Elementary, Chasity Young; Kissimmee Middle, Marie Doyle; Koa Elementary, Rebekah Quinones; Lakeview Elementary, Stephanie Miller; Liberty High, Donna Rain.

Michigan Avenue Elementary, Casey Aun; Mill Creek Elementary, Christopher Farmer; Narcoossee Elementary, Tawnya Hoyle; Narcoossee Middle, Ali Dennis;

Neptune Elementary, Raquel Sampson; Neptune Middle, Christopher Zurewich;

New Beginnings, Sylika Camacho; Osceola High, Susan Ferguson; Parkway Middle, Juan Alamo; Partin Settlement Elementary, Diane King; Pleasant Hill Elementary, Christine Tattoli-Rising; Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts, Heather Bridwell; Poinciana High, James Ellis; PATHS, Margaret Brickman; Reedy Creek Elementary, John Deir; St. Cloud Elementary, Julie Boutilier; St. Cloud Middle, Karen Collette.

St. Cloud High, Cory Aun; Sunrise Elementary, Melissa Henry; Technical Education Center (TECO), Twinkal Christie; Thacker Avenue Elementary, Erin McCarty-Stevens;

Osceola County School for the Arts, Lisa Testa; Osceola Virtual Secondary School, Nancy Bohn; Ventura Elementary, Jennifer Woollet; Westside K-8, Gemma Whitbread; Zenith School, Kevin Shearin.

Charter schools: Acclaim Academy 7-12, Major Shantell Harris; Avant Guard, Patricia Rodriguez; Bellalago Charter Academy, Pamela Haas; Canoe Creek Charter Academy, Vanessa Bobe-Ramos; Four Corners, Shontel Camacho; Kissimmee Charter Academy, Catriona Delussey; Mavericks High, Jason Solano; New Dimensions High, John Timmerman; P.M. Wells Charter Academy, Christie Miller; Renaissance Charter, Vanessa Brown; UCP Child Development, Glenaliz Quezada.

“I am extremely proud of these outstanding educators for being recognized for excellence in their profession,” District Superintendent Melba Luciano said.  “Each day, they use the right mix of knowledge, experiences, and passion for teaching to instill in students a desire to learn and achieve.”

The field of 61 will be whittled down to the finalist field of 10 by a panel of community judges, and the Teacher of the Year and the district’s “School-Related Employee of the Year” will be announced at the Education Foundation’s Education Awards event to be held at Osceola Heritage Park on March 14.

FCAT testing dates set. The district has approved a slightly modified schedule — changing April 16, 23, and 30 from early-dismissal Wednesdays to regularly-length days — in order to accommodate the schedule for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

District officials said the testing this year requires more online assessments, and that lengthening Wednesdays during testing allows more flexibility for breaks in between testing sessions.

Students in grades 4, 8 and 10 will take the writing portion of the FCAT Feb. 25-26. From April 14-18, grades 3-5, 6-7 and 10 will take the reading assessment and grades 3-4 and 7-8 will take the math portion.

From April 21-25, fifth-graders will take math, eighth-graders will take the first reading unit, and both with take science. From April 28 to May 2, sixth-graders will take math, eighth-graders will take the second portion of reading and ninth-graders will take both reading portions.

Ninth-grade orientation. In order to help students and parents become familiar with their new schools for next year, the Osceola School District will be hosting Ninth Grade Student Orientation Nights for current eighth grade students and their parents at the following high schools:

Jan. 28, Poinciana (5-7 p.m.) and St. Cloud (6-8 p.m.); Jan. 29, Celebration (6-8 p.m.); Feb. 4, Gateway (5-7 p.m.), Harmony and Osceola (each 6-8 p.m.); Feb. 6, Liberty (6:30-8:30 p.m.); and Feb. 8, PATHS (8 a.m.-12 p.m.).

Parents and students are invited to attend to meet their new principals, learn what classes will be offered, get familiar with the campus and find out about curriculum, club, and extracurricular sports offerings. Questions about Orientation Night are to be directed to the individual school.