Sarasota County School Board members made their rounds to three schools Thursday, Feb. 7, to surprise the three finalists for the annual Teacher of the Year competition. Superintendent of Schools, Lori White, along with fellow school board members and guests, boarded a bus to surprise teachers at the elementary, middle and high school level with balloons and flowers.
Amy Mazner, a physical education teacher at Alta Vista Elementary School, received the Elementary Teacher of the Year award; Rita Zywica, a science teacher at Brookside Middle School, received the Middle School Teacher of the Year award; and Katrin Rudge, a marine science teacher at Riverview High School, received the High School Teacher of the Year award.
Each of the three teachers is a finalist for the overall district Teacher of the Year award, to be named Thursday, March 21. Each honoree will also receive a cash award from the Education Foundation, gift baskets and scholarships from Nova Southeastern University and the Notre Dame Club of Greater Sarasota.
“This is only because the kids are so important,” said Mazner, to an audience of students and faculty. “They inspire me to be a better teacher every day. Six years ago, I never would’ve thought this was possible.”