Six Brevard Public Schools Teachers Selected As Finalists For ‘Teacher of the Year’

By  //  November 21, 2015

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six teachers chosen as finalists

On November 20, six Brevard Public Schools teachers found out they were selected as finalists for the 2016 Teacher of the Year.
Six Brevard Public Schools teachers found out they were selected as finalists for the 2016 Teacher of the Year.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Six Brevard Public Schools teachers found out last week they were selected as finalists for the 2016 Teacher of the Year.


The finalists are: Sandra Cook, Rockledge High; Christine Ferrer, Ralph Williams Elementary; Mark Peters, Port Malabar Elementary; Shruti Raman, Apollo Elementary; Callie Williams, Astronaut High, and Ana Woodbrey, Hoover Middle.

These individuals were selected from among the 89 district teacher of the year nominees by a panel of judges comprised of principals and teachers from the north, central and south areas.

Finalists were measured against a rigorous set of criteria that include teaching philosophy and practice, leadership, professional development and parental engagement in the learning process.

Dr. Desmond Blackburn
Dr. Desmond Blackburn

“These finalists demonstrate the expert and innovative practices occurring in our classrooms every day,” said Desmond Blackburn, BPS superintendent.

“It is an honor to recognize these passionate teachers who utilize their strengths and skillsets to make learning environments rich and rewarding for our students.”

The 2016 BPS teacher of the year will be chosen by a committee composed of education and civic leaders in the formal selection process and will be announced in the ceremonies at the ABC Awards Gala on January 27, 2016 at The King Center in Melbourne.

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The winner will be Brevard’s representative in the state’s 2016-17 Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year.

Additional information on the six finalists follows:

• Sandra Cook, Rockledge High

Employed with the district for 19 years, Sandra Cook has taught math at Rockledge High for the past three years. Cook enriches the lives of her students by implementing collaborative classroom activities. Just as she provides guidance to her students, Cook also serves as a role model to her peers as she mentors three teachers and facilitates school and district-based professional development. She assists other teachers in writing PGPs and is a member of Rockledge’s peer review team.  She serves as the National Honor Society sponsor and heads up the gifted student program at her school.  Cook has received state recognition for her presentation about parent involvement and student success.  She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in instructional leadership.  “Ms. Cook is that rare teacher who has the ability to not only teach her students, but to inspire them to reach new heights,” said Tony Hines, Rockledge High principal.

Christine Ferrer, Ralph Williams Elementary

At Ralph Williams Elementary in Rockledge, Christine Ferrer has taught sixth grade for the past 10 years.  Ferrer has been recognized multiple times as the school’s social studies teacher of the year and she is known for incorporating character education in her units.  Her teaching style “empowers students and involves them in high level learning though collaborative group work, projects, and creative presentation,” said Chris Reed, Williams’ principal.  In addition to her teaching role, Ferrer serves on the IPPAS and CTE learning professional teams. She was instrumental in securing a $90,000 grant for a classroom set of Chromebooks.  “She shares her personal passion for learning with her students and colleagues, and continues learning and growing professionally through class work, in-services, and collaborative work with peers,” said Reed.

Mark Peters, Port Malabar Elementary

As an educator for the past 32 years, Mark Peters creates a climate of caring and respect at Port Malabar Elementary in Palm Bay in his position as physical education and health teacher.  Peters has spent his entire 32 years at Port Malabar.  He serves the school as supervisor of the school’s crossing guards and sponsors the school’s garden club. Another contribution is the implementation of the school’s FAN program which combines fitness and nutrition with family fun.  The annual Jump Rope for Heart program Peters spearheads has raised over $20,000 for the American Heart Association over the last five years.  “He has strived to provide educational opportunities and physical fitness that develop and motivate our students in their overall performance and well-being,” said Principal Cindy Whalin.

Shruti Raman, Apollo Elementary

Employed by the district for 10 years, Shruti Raman teaches second grade at Apollo Elementary in Titusville.  Fueled by her desire to cultivate positive habits of learning through curiosity and research tools, Raman inspires her students to become active participants in their education.  Through her involvement in various professional learning development conferences, courses and trainings, Raman consistently demonstrates her commitment to using technology to reinforce strong standards-based education.  “Her special gift is demonstrating a superior ability to foster excellence in education and contributing to the continuous improvement of student learning by focusing on creativity and critical thinking,” said Frank O’Leary, Apollo’s principal.  Raman serves on the school’s SAC and PGP peer review team.

Callie Williams, Astronaut High

Journalism teacher, Callie Williams has worked at Astronaut High in Titusville for 12 years.  She incorporates social media skills into her classes and teaches the yearbook and TV production courses as well.  Williams believes that after students complete a year in her program, the skills they acquire in writing, communication, and photography will last them a lifetime.  She and her students attend numerous workshops, conventions, and summer yearbook camp to hone these skills.  Williams is active in the Florida Scholastic Press Association.  “Journalism is a real-world class,” she said.  “We create tangible products that become a part of the school’s history.”  She has a bachelor’s degree in English and liberal arts from Auburn University.

Ana Woodbrey, Hoover Middle

Media specialist, Ana Woodbrey’s dedication to Hoover Middle in Indialantic is evident in the many programs she champions there.   Her reach includes managing the media center, integrating technology into classroom teachers’ lessons, teaching students cyber safety, serving as media cohort coach, SAC secretary, and technology committee member.  Woodbrey follows her mother’s example of long term service to Brevard Public Schools as she has worked for BPS for 18 years.  She has a master’s in information studies and collaborates with local public library and university professors to help bring the library classroom to the community.  Principal Lena Wiebelt said, “Woodbrey goes above and beyond her job description to ensure all Hoover Middle students become effective users of information and ideas.”

BPS Teacher of the Year nominees are listed by school area and finalists are highlighted:

Bayside High Danny Miller South
Central Middle Ronald Wilcox South
Christa McAuliffe Elementary Josena Marshall South
Columbia Elementary Heather Ball South
Discovery Elementary Stephanie Connolly South
Gemini Elementary Denise Coverstone South
Harbor City Elementary Morgan Diaz South
Heritage High Michael Broud South
Hoover Middle Ana Woodbrey South
Indialantic Elementary Carla Etherton South
Jupiter Elementary Virginia Campbell South
Lockmar Elementary Janet A. Walter South
Meadowlane Intermediate Stephanie Woodbury South
Meadowlane Primary Elementary Christine Bell South
Melbourne High Michael Ferguson South
Palm Bay Elementary Jesse Hodge South
Palm Bay Magnet High Philip Snyder South
Port Malabar Elementary Mark D. Peters South
Riviera Elementary Tammie Rutkowski South
Roy Allen Misty Myers South
South Area Adult Education Center Paula Alvarez South
South Area Alternative Learning Center Eric Kohler South
Southwest Middle Janet A. Tucker South
Stone Magnet Middle Heather Eising South
Sunrise Elementary Gina Sherman South
Turner  Elementary Michael Gladden South
University Park Elementary Lori Ziarno South
West Melbourne School of Science Elementary Lindsay Nichols South
West Shore Jr./Sr. High Jessica Hartman South
Westside Elementary Renee Grant South
Cambridge Elementary Magnet Jonell Clevenger Central
Cocoa High Marilyn Borges Central
Creel Elementary Vicki Carbee Central
Croton Elementary Alicia Kuntz-Murphy Central
DeLaura Middle Heather Haskett Central
Eau Gallie High Earhart Brenda Central
Endeavour Elementary Christy Meraz Central
Fairglen Elementary Jaclyn Crotwell Central
Golfview Elementary Magnet Mallory Williams Central
Hans Christian Andersen Krystal Kapatos Central
Holland Elementary Jensee Lee Central
Instructional Exceptional Student Education Michelle S. Patterson Central
Johnson Middle Holly Kinder Ford Central
Kennedy Middle Caroline Hatten Central
Longleaf Elementary Barbara Jaynes Central
Manatee Elementary Susan Teeter Central
McNair Magnet Middle Megan Cooper Central
Ocean Breeze Elementary Lias Van Dam Central
Quest Elementary Theresa Lally Central
Ralph Williams Elementary Christine Ferrer Central
Rockledge High Sandra Cook Central
Sabal Elementary Deborah James Central
Satellite High Mary Elizabeth White Central
Saturn Elementary Julie Fletcher Central
Sea Park Elementary Catherine V. Bloom Central
Sherwood Elementary Connie Markle Central
Suntree Elementary Kay MacDonald Central
Surfside  Elementary Chimene Rice Central
Viera Charter Judith  “Lynne” Boucher Central
Viera High James Anthony Gentile Central
Andrew Jackson Middle Marcy Cipolletti North
Apollo Elementary Shruti Raman North
Astronaut High Callie S. Williams North
Atlantis Elementary Josefa Marie Pinkerton North
Audubon Elementary Ryan Palmer North
Cape View Elementary Stephanie White North
Challenger 7 Elementary Amanda Howell North
Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr High Mary Ellen Galanopoulos North
Coquina Elementary Teresa Qualls North
Edgewood Jr/Sr High Catherine P. Alex North
Enterprise Elementary Roxanne L. Pace North
Freedom 7 Elementary Marie-Claude Thellend North
Imperal Estates Elementary Holly Barbour North
Jefferson Middle Laurie Broadway North
Lewis Carroll Elementary Ann Thrapp North
Madison Middle Christina Cerrato North
Merritt Island High Judith P. Hernandez North
MILA Elementary Selina M. Black North
Mims Elementary Joanna Summy-Brown North
Oak Park Elementary Kathy Owens North
Pinewood Elementary Mark Meyers North
Riverview Stephanie Drone North
Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary Christine Snow North
Roosevelt Elementary Jennifer Mele North
Sculptor Charter Susan Brees North
Space Coast Jr/Sr High Lorie Marshall North
Titusville High Jaqueline M. Berley North
Tropical Elementary Carla McCluney North
Virtual Instruction Programs Miriam Belen Campa North