66.6 F
Ocala
Monday, January 9, 2023

MCPS announces 2023 Teacher of the Year finalists, Rookie Teacher of the Year

Five teachers in Marion County received Golden Apples during surprise classroom visits on Friday, and they are now in contention to be named Marion County’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

According to Marion County Public Schools, dozens of individuals including Superintendent Dr. Diane Gullett, Marion County School Board and Public Education Foundation Board members, district leaders, and community residents traveled a 93-mile route to surprise all five finalists and Golden Apple recipients.

All Golden Apple teachers have at least four years of classroom experience. This year’s class of Golden Apple teachers includes:

Nedra Huggins (Belleview Middle School)

Nedra Huggins Belleview Middle School 2023 Golden Apple finalist
2023 Golden Apple finalist Nedra Huggins (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Huggins teaches Introduction to Health Sciences to middle school students (6th through 8th grade). She has 20 years of classroom teaching experience including 15 years with MCPS.

John Gibb (Lake Weir High School)

John Gibb Lake Weir High School 2023 Golden Apple finalist
2023 Golden Apple finalist John Gibb (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Gibb teaches Pre-International Baccalaureate English to 9th and 10th graders. His seven years of experience have all taken place in MCPS classrooms.

Jamie Roche (Maplewood Elementary School)

Jamie Roche Maplewood Elementary School 2023 Golden Apple finalist
2023 Golden Apple finalist Jamie Roche (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Roche is an art teacher who comes into contact with every student on campus throughout the week. Roche’s 23 years of teaching experience have all been with MCPS.

Lindsey Bigelow (Ocala Springs Elementary School)

Lindsey Bigelow Ocala Springs Elementary School 2023 golden apple finalist
2023 Golden Apple finalist Lindsey Bigelow (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Bigelow teaches first grade English Language Arts and has 10 years of teaching experience, all with MCPS.

Cheryl Goldner (Saddlewood Elementary School)

Cheryl Goldner Saddlewood Elementary 2023 Golden Apple finalist
2023 Golden Apple finalist Cheryl Goldner (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Goldner teaches math and science to fourth-grade students. She joined MCPS six years ago and has nearly 30 years of classroom experience.

In addition to the Golden Apple recipients, three additional surprise honors were handed out on Friday, including:

Marion County Rookie Teacher of the Year: Jennifer Bachmaier (Hammett L. Bowen Jr. Elementary School)

MCPS 2023 Rookie Teacher of the Year Jennifer Bachmaier
Jennifer Bachmaier, Marion County’s 2023 Rookie Teacher of the Year (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Bachmaier is an Exceptional Student Education teacher who has been with MCPS for one-and-a-half years, with an additional year of classroom experience outside of the district. According to MCPS, rookie teachers have no more than three years of classroom experience.

MCPS School-Related Employee of the Year: Erin Webber (Fort McCoy School)

MCPS school related employee of year 2023 Erin Webber Fort McCoy School
Erin Webber, 2023 MCPS School-Related Employee of the Year (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

Webber is a Guidance Clerk and front desk receptionist who has been with MCPS for six years.

Above and Beyond Award: Mark White (Vanguard High School)

2023 MCPS Above and Beyond Award winner Mark White Vanguard High School
Mark White, winner of the 2023 MCPS Above and Beyond Award (Photo courtesy of Marion County Public Schools)

White is a technical services and school maintenance worker who manages daily responsibilities at his alma mater, Vanguard High School. He joined MCPS in 2007 and transferred to Vanguard last year.  

The five Golden Apple recipients and Rookie Teacher of the Year will take part in the Golden Apple Gala on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 7 p.m. at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala. The event will air live on the Marion Education Channel and it will also be streamed live on the MCPS YouTube Channel.

At the upcoming Gala, one of the five finalists will be named Marion County’s 2023 Golden Apple Teacher of the Year and will drive away in a new, pre-paid, three-year leased vehicle from Jenkins Auto Group, according to MCPS.

For more information, contact Executive Director Meghan Magamoll with the Public Education Foundation of Marion County via phone (352-671-4160) or email ([email protected]).