Booker Middle teacher Donna Heath wins Beginning Teacher of the Year
Booker Middle School English teacher Donna Heath won the 2015 Beginning Teacher of the Year award from the Florida Council of Teachers of English. Heath is the third Booker Middle teacher to win the award from FCTE. Joanna Fox and Christopher Pauling were honored in previous years.
Heath began working for the Sarasota County School District in 2003 as a media specialist. When the district eliminated her position in 2013, Heath decided to become a teacher.
Pauling, Heath’s colleague and friend, said in a news release:
“You can imagine what it was like for Donna to dedicate herself to becoming a teacher after being a media specialist for 10 years. She took it seriously and pursued her master’s degree. She has grown with experience and knowledge, has made well-received presentations to the FCTE about modern teaching practices and strategies and is applying them in her classroom.”
Heath’s presentations to FCTE include “Life after Bullying: Young Adult Novels Lead Teens on the Road to Recovery,” and “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Multicultural Literature as Informational Text.”
She teaches a wide range of students, from students who struggle with reading to gifted students.
“After being inspired by the fine teachers in my daughters’ classrooms, I decided to begin my journey to become a teacher,” said Heath in a press release. “The constant support of my husband and daughters keep me striving every day to be the best teacher I can be for my students. I hope my passion for literacy and lifelong learning will inspire my students to love reading and will help them be successful in their lives.”
Suncoast Technical College accepts "Ready, Set, Work" Challenge
Todd Bowden, executive director of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the Sarasota County School District, accepted Gov. Rick Scott's "Ready, Set, Work" challenge on behalf of the faculty and staff of Suncoast Technical College.
Effective immediately, Suncoast Technical College guarantees employers and students that any graduate who is not proficient in any of the completed competencies covered by the program will be retrained in the needed competencies at no charge to either the employer or the graduate.
“We are happy to accept this challenge from the governor,” said Bowden in a press release. “Our students are ready and set to work on day one, thanks to programs designed in close consultation with local employers who have told us what specific training their workforce needs. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase the education, skills and enthusiasm of our graduates.”