Youmone Berrien, activities director and AP honors coordinator at First Coast High School, has been selected as the 2011 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year.
The announcement was made by Action News morning anchor Tera Barz at the annual EDDY Awards celebration. The event, held this evening at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, was hosted by the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
“The Duval County Teacher of the Year program celebrates a distinguished individual among extraordinary teachers in our district, and I congratulate Youmone on this prestigious recognition,” said Duval County Public Schools’ Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals. “Her dedication to her students is unparalleled, and I applaud her efforts to engage and inspire her students to succeed.”
Youmone Berrien has been teaching for seven years. She currently wears many hats at First Coast High School, including leader of the 10th-grade English professional learning community, student activities director, senior class sponsor and co-founder of the Ladies First Organization. Ms. Berrien’s involvement stems from a philosophy that it is the job of the educator to “greet students at the entrance of academia, present them the tools needed to become productive and guide them through our ‘real world’.”
Ms. Berrien’s commitment to the success of every child has led her to teach in some of First Coast’s most challenging classrooms. One of her seventh-grade English II classes last year had 88 percent of students who scored at a level two or below on the Reading FCAT. Through structure, guidance and an opportunity to creatively express their knowledge, Ms. Berrien solicited her students’ participation in changing their futures. As a result, 21 of her 24 students showed considerable gains. Ms. Berrien’s success became contagious as she presented a school-wide FCAT motivational campaign that played a significant role in increasing First Coast’s school grade.
Ms. Berrien believes that teachers “make an impact on student learning by meeting them where they are; guiding them to where they need to be; and cheering them along the way.”
Berrien will now go on to compete for the state-wide title of Florida Teacher of the Year.
Berrien’s announcement as Teacher of the Year came after the presentation of the district’s other four finalists at the EDDY Awards: Edward Moore, Language Arts teacher at Northwestern Middle; Andrew Hubbuch, fifth-grade teacher at Justina Road Elementary; Katy Burns, kindergarten teacher at Beauclerc Elementary; and Andrea Miranda, Language Arts teacher at Fort Caroline Middle.
The selection process began with 158 school representatives throughout the district who were selected as their school’s Teacher of the Year. The 158 were narrowed by the District Selection Committee to 15 semi-finalists and then five finalists.
For a complete list of all 158 of Duval County’s Teachers of the Year,
Duval County Public Schools operates 172 schools and serves approximately 123,000 students. The school district is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities that will inspire all students to acquire and use the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a global economy, and culturally diverse world.
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