Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner, along with School Board Chair Bill Mignon and School Board Vice Chair Bill Fehling, as well as school district staff and representatives from the St. Johns County Education Foundation, had the exciting task of paying a surprise visit to the Teacher of the Year finalists at their schools. This year, the five finalists were treated to a visit from a very special guest, Bucky the Beaver, mascot from Beaver Toyota Scion, which serves as a major sponsor of this year’s Teacher of the Year Celebration. The finalists are Marion Charles Boyd from R. J. Murray Middle School (MMS); Daryl Cullipher from St. Augustine High School (SAHS); Ewa Kolk from John A. Crookshank Elementary School (CES); Sarah Anne Sacharski from Alice B. Landrum Middle School (LMS) and Nick Vasiliades from St. Johns Virtual School (SJVS).
Marion Boyd is an Exceptional Student Education and psychology teacher at MMS. He has 13 years of experience, all in St. Johns County. Boyd believes every child can learn and this is demonstrated on a daily basis within the various classroom settings he encounters. He has also had the opportunity to mentor students from Flagler College who are seeking careers in teaching.
Daryl Cullipher teaches English at SAHS and holds endorsements in both reading and ESOL. She has seven years teaching with St. Johns County. Cullipher has an instrumental role within the Academy of Teaching which earned model designation from the National Career Academy Coalition. She also coaches college and high school students in writing strategies and grammar lessons after school every other Wednesday.
Ewa Kolk, an elementary education teacher, has seven years of experience in the county and currently teaches third grade at CES. Her philosophy of teaching is very simple; teach with love, teach with purpose and teach to inspire students to succeed.
Sarah Ann Sacharski teaches music to LMS students and has nine years of experience with two in the SJCSD. She is constantly seeking professional development opportunities and uses a variety of team building exercises to help students find camaraderie with their classmates. Sacharski believes that band is like a sports team in that everyone must work together to achieve their goals.
Nick Vasiliades has a total of 24 years teaching experience with over six years in St. Johns County. He currently serves as a teacher at SJVS. His subject areas include English (6-12), middle school integrated (6-9) and an ESOL endorsement. Vasiliades believes that individualized feedback serves as powerful confirmation and an indicator of student learning as well as an indispensable guide for students and parents to strengthen concepts and skills which still need improvement. We have such amazing and caring teachers throughout the district. This year’s finalists show the dedication, depth and variety of the teaching talent we have in St. Johns County, and I couldn’t be more proud of their selection. I think this year’s judges will have quite a difficult time choosing just one of these inspiring teachers to represent St. Johns County in the state competition. Congratulations to all of you!
The Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year will be announced at the awards banquet on Thursday, February 13 at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village.