Historic City News was informed by Alaina Cordes that Ketterlinus Elementary School fourth grade teacher Beth Upchurch was honored by the St. Johns County Education Foundation last night after being selected St. Johns County Teacher of the Year.
Also recognized by the foundation was Megan Miller as the Rookie of the Year from Switzerland Point Middle School.
Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of the St. Johns County School District, presented Upchurch and Miller with their awards last night at the Renaissance Hotel located in the World Golf Village.
Upchurch, the Teacher of the Year, has earned numerous grants and awards for her exemplary work with her students. Recently, she was awarded Teacher of the Year at Ketterlinus in November 2010 and received a Horizon Grant from the SJCEF this past November for her “I Touch, I Learn, I Grow” program involving iPads and iPods Touches in the classroom.
Jane Wood, Upchurch’s colleague at Ketterlinus stated, “when Beth makes decisions about curriculum and classroom practices, her students and the impact on their growth is always at the forefront of her decision process.”
Outside the classroom, Upchurch is involved in the Young Life Africa Committee and does missionary work in Tanzania, Africa. She is also a part time literacy coach, a member of the Ketterlinus SAC committee, and a 2010 Nominee for the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, an international organization that honors women educators.
Miller, the Rookie of the Year, has been teaching for a total of two years. She volunteered in classrooms, taught as a substitute and worked in after-school programs prior to earning a Masters in Education in Secondary Social Studies Education at the University of Florida in 2009
She has been working in St. Johns County for a year and believes educators should “present curriculum through opportunities and experiences that encourage students’ personal growth, deep self-reflection, and development of interpersonal skills.”
“Megan uses creative, innovative practices in all her classes to empower each student and keep them engaged in their own and each other’s learning,” said Lisa Kunze, Principal of Switzerland Point.
© 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph St. Johns County Education Foundation