May 2nd, 2012
LAKE WALES – Jennifer Simpson, a fourth grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year by the Polk Association of Charter Schools during a banquet Tuesday (May 1) in Lakeland.
Simpson has a degree in Elementary Education from Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. This is her fourth year teaching. She serves as grade-level chair, tutor, and is a member of the school’s Technology Team. She also co-sponsors the school’s new National Elementary Honor Society.
As a fourth grade teacher, she helps students in all areas, but Simpson is especially interested in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In July 2011, she attended the Mickelson Exxon Mobile Teacher Academy in Jersey City, NJ.
“I had the opportunity to hear for myself that when the new national science standards are released, they will include a component of engineering,” she wrote in her Teacher of the Year application.
“My professional goal was set that evening. STEM Education is my passion because Science, Technology, Engineering and Math represent the future. I want my classroom to create and exhibit a sense of wonder and exploration in students that will spur them on to be lifelong learners in a field of STEM.”
Other Lake Wales Charter Schools’ teachers and support employees honored at the Polk Association of Charter Schools event included:
- Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary Teacher of the Year Robin Jolley and Support Employee of the Year Pam Watts
- Hillcrest Elementary Support Employee of the Year Nancy Leatherland
- Janie Howard Wilson Elementary Teacher of the Year Stephanie MacDonald and Support Employee of the Year Robin Sanchez
- Polk Avenue Elementary Teacher of the Year Brenda Lasseter and Support Employee of the Year Jean Salio
- Edward W. Bok Academy Teacher of the Year Lindsay Woods and Support Employee of the Year Sydney Mercado
- Lake Wales High Teacher of the Year Dee Coconato and Support Employee of the Year Brook Weathersby