Danny Erb, a math teacher at Pedro Menendez High School, has been chosen as the St. Johns County School District’s (SJCSD) 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made by Superintendent Mr. Tim Forson at the annual Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year Banquet held on Thursday, January 17 at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. He will go on to compete in the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year.
Erb has been teaching for 18 years with 4 of those in the SJCSD teaching at Pedro Menendez High School. Prior to his teaching career and following graduation with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State, he was an engineer with Steam Services and an operations supervisor with Gas and Electric, both in Con Edison of NY, New York, NY.
He loves math and helping his students love it too, no matter their level of understanding or ability. He says that teaching them how is easy, and teaching them why is the challenge, though that is his favorite part. Having a background in engineering, Erb enjoys analyzing data though what gets him excited to teach each day is to expose students to new ideas and perspectives. He believes this is how the foundation of respect for learning is laid and love grows from it. When his students leave his class they leave with respect for learning and confidence in their ability to solve problems.
“We must teach the whole child; and sometimes it is necessary to zoom out and take a step back from curriculum and content mastery, and focus on the growing human beings in front of us,” said Erb. “Every age is an important age in a student’s life and at every single one of those stages, there is an educator there to help guide the way.”
Erb never thought he would call another school home after teaching at his alma mater for as long as he had, but this is exactly what he has done at PMHS. He has built relationships and rapport with faculty, students and families. He takes part in every school wide activity to celebrate school spirit and serves as the senior class sponsor. His list of involvement in school activities that extend beyond the campus and school day is endless, and he’s always looking for ways to do more.
“It is such an honor to have a teacher of Mr. Erb’s caliber represent our district at the state level,” said Superintendent Tim Forson. He is truly one of a kind and embodies all the traits possessed by great teachers. I am in awe of his ability to not only teach and inspire, but also connect and build lasting, positive relationships with his students.
Investing in Kids (INK) produces this celebration with the support of many community and business partners to recognize excellence in the teaching profession. This year featured past Teachers of the Year, Amy Grimm who introduced the evening and Dana Kelley, who performed a special presentation with her students. School Board Chair Kelly Barrera announced the Rookie Teacher of the Year Kristen Meidling who teaches fifth grade at Mill Creek Academy.