A fourth-grade teacher at Eustis Heights Elementary has been named the 2022 Lake County Schools Teacher of the Year.
Shannon Clark, a fourth-grade language arts and social studies teacher, is a resident of Mount Dora. She has been teaching for seven years and was announced the winner at Thursday night’s Teacher of the Year celebration, hosted by the Education Foundation of Lake County and presented by Duke Energy, Ernie Morris Enterprises and Jenkins Auto Group.
Clark was named the winner by a panel of judges from outside the district who reviewed her application, interviewed administrators and peers and observed her in the classroom.
In addition to demonstrating student performance gains, Clark is often used as a model for first-year and teacher teams. In her application, Clark said her classroom has been visited by educators who observed her whole-group instruction and small-group remediation, as well as how she collaborates with other teachers.
Clark wrote in her application about her teaching students in a Title 1 school: “Their learning inspires me. No matter if it’s increasing their words per minute or hearing them read with expression. I love to see their smiles after they’ve passed a test or achieved a higher grade on a retest. I love sharing in their sense of accomplishment.”
”Whether someone is watching or not, Mrs. Clark is going to give her very best to students every minute of every day. It is clear that her motivation is intrinsic and fueled by her love for students,” said Dr. Tiffany Scott, principal at Eustis Heights Elementary. “I wish that her example will be used to elevate the practice of teaching and learning districtwide. I also wish that passions she has influenced on our campus for both students and staff are felt across the district and send a message of hope and inspiration.”
In addition to the designation as Lake County’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Clark will receive a 2021 Honda Accord from Jenkins Auto Group that she’ll be able to drive for three years. Insight Credit Union has donated a $500 gas card and Jostens will present her with an official Teacher of the Year ring.
As Lake County’s Teacher of the Year, Clark moves on to the statewide competition and will be reviewed by a Florida Department of Education state selection committee. The Florida Teacher of the Year finalists will be announced in May and the 2022 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year named in July 2021.
“This year’s class of Lake County’s Teachers of the Year is extraordinary. They have each demonstrated dedication, flexibility, creativity and poise during what will likely be the most challenging year of each of their careers,” said Diane Kornegay, superintendent of Lake County Schools. “I am thrilled that Shannon Clark is representing our district in the Florida Teacher of the Year program and salute her and the Eustis Heights Elementary leadership team for nurturing an environment of learning.”
Joshua Wintersdorf, a math teacher at Umatilla Middle, and Rikki Parisoe, a first-grade teacher at Fruitland Park Elementary, were District finalists with Clark. Forty-eight teachers were recognized by peers at their respective Lake County schools for excellence in teaching.
As the district liaison to the Florida Department of Education, the Education Foundation of Lake County coordinates all awards and recognition events including the annual Lake County Schools Teacher of the Year Awards program.