Two Local Teachers Named As Finalists for Teacher of the Year
Special to the Lehigh Acres Gazette Source: Lee County School District
Every year, the Lee County School District names a Teacher of the Year.
According to school officials, naming the recipient is a difficult task because only one of the many devoted and dedicated teachers across the district can be chosen. This year’s seven finalists truly embody the district’s vision of being a world-class school system through their work in our schools each day.
Two local teachers named among the finalists are:
- Tina Werderman, with Lehigh Acres Middle School
Tina Werderman has a natural affinity for helping students. As an intervention specialist, she has been instrumental in creating a peer mediation program at Lehigh Middle that has helped decrease suspensions and referrals significantly. Werderman works with students who are struggling in their classes and she helps them find new confidence by focusing on their strengths and working with them on their weaknesses. Werderman uses restorative practices and has worked with teachers and parents on de-escalation techniques. She is a resource for students and staff, her knowledge and experience are a great asset. She sees every student’s potential and strives to help all students be successful.
- Chasey Niebrugge, with River Hall Elementary School
Chasey Niebrugge encompasses all components of a model teacher. She is talented and innovative and her commitment to learning expands beyond the classroom. Niebrugge’s II/ESE students are a huge part of the River Hall Elementary School family and are included in all activities they are able to attend. Neibrugge creates an engaging, differentiated and safe classroom environment where students are expected to do their personal best. Niebrugge changed the II/ESE program at the school from a program that lacked resources and true inclusion practices to a program that is thriving. Students who were struggling are now flourishing. She is a great example of a model teacher.
The other finalists include:
- Dante Ciolfi, with Fort Myers Technical College
- Kathy Cook, with Trafalgar Middle School
- Christiana Deeter, with Ida S. Baker High School
- Andrea DeShazo, with Fort Myers Middle Academy
- Rachelle Resendes, with Gulf Elementary School
The district will surprise the winner of this year’s Teacher of the Year award during a special ceremony on Dec. 19; the time and location will be forthcoming.