MARION COUNTY – Marion County proudly announces its 2018 Teacher of the Year on Friday, January 26, in a Golden Apple Gala black-tie event.
This year’s five finalists recently received surprise classroom visits from the Golden Apple caravan including Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier, Public Education Foundation Executive Director Judi Zanetti, School Board Chair Beth McCall and dozens of other district and community representatives.
This year’s five Golden Apple recipients now vie to become Marion County’s Teacher of the Year. The Golden Apple Gala is coordinated by the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, which sponsors the Golden Apple program.
Golden Apple recipients have at least four years of classroom teaching experience while rookies have three years or less.
Marion County’s 2018 Golden Apple teachers include:
- Norma Barnes, a reading teacher at West Port High School. She joined the district in 2014 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. She has professional endorsements in reading, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- Helene Hotaling, a third-grade teacher at Madison Street Academy. She joined Marion County Public Schools in 1990 and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia. Her master’s in Reading Education is from Barry University.
- Ingrid Johnson, an honors math teacher at North Marion Middle School. She joined the district in 2012. Her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education comes from Saint Leo University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree through Morehead State University.
- Jeremy Rhoden, an agriculture teacher at Vanguard High School. He joined the district in 2015 and earned his bachelor’s in Agricultural Education from the University of Florida.
- Kathleen Williams, an English teacher at Lake Weir High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from the University of North Florida.
All five Golden Apple recipients will share brief speeches about their teaching careers during the event.
Meantime, West Port High’s Michael Hartman is Marion County’s 2018 Rookie Teacher of the Year. He will also speak at Friday night’s event. He is a biology teacher with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Marion County’s 2018 Teacher of the Year will be announced during the event broadcast live from On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala. Marion County’s 2018 Teacher of the Year will also receive a pre-paid, three-year lease on a new Acura from Jenkins Auto Group in Ocala.
The black-tie gala affair airs on the Marion Education Channel and replays through February each Friday and Saturday at 7PM and Sundays at 2PM. The Marion Education Channel is available on Comcast 99, Cox 12, and other local cable companies. The event also streams live on the district’s YouTube channel (MCPSmedia).
For more information, contact Judi Zanetti, executive director of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, at 352.671.4167.