Dawn Bell, Chief Executive of the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, reported to Historic City News that Margie Tedder, a VPK teacher at Village Academy in St. Augustine, is the winner of the third annual “Preschool Teacher of the Year” award.
Bell is the leader of the 19-year-old nonprofit organization; who, with their partner, Episcopal Children’s Services, assures that their schools have the coaches, funds, and volunteers needed for their various learning environments.
“Children who have had Tedder as a teacher are well-prepared for kindergarten and leave with the foundational school readiness skills that are necessary for success in kindergarten,” Bell told local reporters. “These are the kind of teachers that children will remember for the rest of their lives. Many of her former students, now grown, remember Ms. Margie.”
The six-countywide preschool teacher recognition acknowledges the creativity and work of those who teach children at the most fundamental time in their lives.
Tedder was honored by a surprise “Prize Patrol” on December 20, 2017, with balloons and flowers. She will be recognized at the Early Educators Conference on January 27, 2018 at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park. Tedder will be awarded a $500 cash prize from Kaplan Early Learning, Inc., the 2017 Teacher of the Year Sponsor.
“Whether exceptional teachers are born or made is not the question,” according to Bell. “What matters is that by the time they make it into the classroom, they are filled with the necessary passion, drive, education and genuine love of teaching that students need to succeed.”
Tedder began teaching 33 years ago. Her involvement at Village Academy includes teaching, directing the summer camp program and serving as assistant director of the school. Her passion lies in teaching and in her strong love for her students, according to Tedder.
“Teaching is a special calling, and there is a critical need for exceptional preschool teachers in the six counties we serve,” Bell pointed out. “Great teachers like these, who represent the best of the best, have an incredible impact on our future. There’s no better job than guiding children down a path of success.”