2014 Teacher Spotlight


Teacher-of-the-Year, Northside Elementary School 2013-2014

Katrina Ensminger

Katrina Ensminger | Northside Elementary School

Although Katrina Ensminger is a whiz at analyzing data and has extensive knowledge of instruction, curriculum and assessment, it's her nurturing nature and kindness with her students that sets her apart. Her calming spirit and ability to effectively teach over 70 MTSS students daily inspires her peers. Enthusiastic and challenging, she is dedicated to helping her students be their very best every day. Both veteran and new teachers recognize in Katrina a counselor, a mentor, a teacher, a friend and a leader. She listens and encourages. And when asked to help another teacher, she will not rest until she has found a way to assist and then she follows up to make sure her recommendation is successful. Cheerfully, Katrina volunteers to lend a hand supervising students during parent nights and even serves as the campus technology expert.

“Katrina is here for the right reasons. She truly cares about all students at the school. Make sure everyone knows that she is fabulous!”
– Amy Harvey, Northside Elementary School Principal

Teacher-of-the-Year, Springfield Elementary School 2013-2014

Lisa Gorey

Lisa Gorey | Springfield Elementary School

Making the Media Center the hub of learning in her school has been Lisa Gorey's top priority since she took the job. She has transformed the old library into a media center full of new technology, resources for teachers and hands-on learning activities for students. Switching gears all day long, Lisa accommodates a variety of student learning needs, empowering them with knowledge. She provides the traditional story time and book check out but she also engages students by delivering fun, innovative lessons using technology. Lisa models reading strategy for teachers who visit with their classes and she provides professional development in the area of Smart Board and technology use. She volunteers to keep the library open in the summer for current and upcoming preschool students, plus she organizes the book fair, stays open for Family Fun Nights and organizes author visits.

“Lisa turned the media center around. Teachers and students love her. She is organized, driven, conscientious and dependable.”
– Harriet Taylor, Springfield Elementary School Principal

 Teacher-of-the-Year, Rosenwald High School 2013-2014

Patrick Hair

Patrick Hair | Rosenwald High School

Although from a family of outstanding educators, it took Patrick Hair over 20 years in the private sector before he realized he wanted to teach. His students are glad he made the change. Patrick's extensive real world IT experience has translated into lesson plans students can't wait to learn. As the Career and Technology Education Teacher, he engages students with creative, vibrant, web based activities that hold their attention and keep them involved. Although he teaches new technology, Patrick endeavors to be an excellent old-fashioned role model as well. His honesty, good manners and friendly attitude convey his compassion and desire to help students reach their full potential. Patrick's colleagues value his problem-solving attitude, innovative approach and dynamic personality. He is also a volunteer with the local Boy Scouts.

Teacher-of-the-Year, Waller Elementary School 2013-2014


Toya Peters | Waller Elementary School

After spending a few years working in other careers, Toya Peters has finally found what she is meant to do; she is meant to teach. With dedication, enthusiasm and relentless determination, Toya embodies the idea that you can't teach children to be lifelong learners without being one yourself. She is a FOCUS trainer and expert, serves on the Leader In Me Action Team, spends hours researching ways to serve her students better and prepares learning experiences for her kids that encourage them to think. Her "school babies" learn in a technology rich environment where they often touch what they are learning and stay focused because Toya knows how to spark their interest. She works long and hard, gives all of herself and believes only her best will do for her students, her colleagues and her school.

“Toya is a forward thinker. “Every ounce of her being is poured into her job as a teacher.” – Peggy Bunch, Waller Elementary School Principal

 Gulf County Schools - Rookie Teacher-of-the-Year 2013-2014


Ann Gingell | Port St. Joe Elementary School

"I have been employed with Gulf County Schools for three years at Port St. Joe Elementary School. My first two years I taught the self-contained ESE class and this year I taught 5th grade. Thank you (and the EPI program) again for all you did to help me become a teacher.”

Gulf County Schools - Rookie Teacher-of-the-Year 2013-2014

Kimberly McFarland | Port St. Joe High School

 “I currently teach Geometry, Honors Geometry and Math for College Readiness. I have also taught Algebra 1 and Advanced Algebra with Financial Applications. I teach 9-12th grades. I am the STEM scholar sponsor and Mu Alpha Theta sponsor. I love my job, my colleagues and students. I am delighted with this stage in my career – you couldn't have prepared me any better. Thank you for making this path possible.”

“Both teachers started as volunteer parents at Port St. Joe Elementary School (one was PTO secretary and one was treasurer)--they both substituted and then went to the EPI program! Now look at them! They were voted on by their faculty and staff to represent their school as the Rookie Teacher of the Year! We are very proud!  What a great success story!”-- Melissa Ramsey, Coordinator of Curriculum, Staff Development, and Assessment