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Five Sarasota teachers win Barancik Foundation Ripple Awards

The twice-a-year awards honor educators who help foster cultural change among students and their peers.

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  • | 1:41 p.m. May 26, 2022
  • Sarasota
  • Schools
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Five Sarasota County Schools teachers are the latest recipients of the Barancik Foundation’s Ripple Effect awards, emblematic of their positive impact on their students’ lives.

The awards are presented twice a year, on the birthday of Chuck Barancik in May and on the birthday of Margery Barancik in September, to commend educators for their innovative efforts in fostering cultural change among their students and peers.

The most recent winners, announced Thursday, were:

  • Tessa Healy, Wilkinson Elementary
  • Megan Wink, Lakeview Elementary
  • Michelle Rivas, Gulf Gate Elementary
  • Dorothy Rieger, McIntosh Middle
  • Melissa Dweck, Sarasota High

“In our eyes, teachers are superheroes, and this is our way of recognizing them for what they do each day,” says Teri A Hansen, the president and CEO of Barancik Foundation.

Each teacher received a $5,000 award to spend on professional development experiences, material, and equipment for their classrooms. The teachers were surprised in ceremonies at their schools.

Sarasota County principals nominated one teacher to be considered for the award. A committee made up of community leaders then identified the top candidates.

“We are thankful for the hard work, compassion, and dedication of all our teachers and look forward to seeing the bright future that results from the ripple effects they set in motion today,” said Brennan Asplen, the superintendent of Sarasota County Schools.

Previous winners have used the awards for classroom improvement projects, professional development workshops across the country and items like musical equipment and robotic gear to help pique students’ interest in the classroom.  

The Baranciks founded the organization in 2014 to create and fund areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research.


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