2016 Teacher Spotlight

2015-2016 teacher Spotlight

Bay District Schools Teacher-of-the-Year 2015-2016

Kesia Melner

Kesia Milner | Bay District Schools Teacher-of-the-Year and Springfield Elementary School Teacher-of-the-Year

Over the summer, Kesia Milner created a “Tiger’s Eye” mural in a main hallway to watch over students and beautify the campus. As her school’s art teacher, she does not limit her talents to her classroom, she has embraced her whole school with her artistic gifts. This year, she designed a new logo for the school which was used for the school sign, letterhead and t-shirts. She publishes the school newspaper, leads Art Club, enters student work into art shows, provides after school art projects during holidays, involves students in beautifying the school campus and creates t-shirts featuring student art work. She believes education and art dissolves limitations and opens up possibilities. She is not just teaching painting, drawing and sculpting, she is teaching students to develop intellectual curiosity and showing them how subjects are interconnected. Her enthusiastic approach and high level of energy draws her students in and motivates them to become more confident in all subjects. Parents look forward to Kesia’s “Fine Art Nights.” This event showcases at least one piece of art from every student in the school. Colleagues appreciate her willingness to integrate and enhance their lessons in a creative way during her classes. She is versatile, flexible and very caring.

“Kesia is more than an art teacher. She sees the whole picture and teaches the whole child. Kesia’s lessons connect art with the standards being taught by regular classroom teachers. She is awesome!”

– Harriet Taylor, Springfield Elementary School Principal

Governor's Shine Award 2016

Kesia Shine Award

Kesia Milner | Bay District Schools Teacher-of-the-Year and Springfield Elementary School Teacher-of-the-Year

The Shine Award is presented to teachers and administrators in Florida who make significant contributions to the field of education. Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida’s hardworking teachers have helped our state become one of the best places in the nation for students to get a great education and be prepared for jobs in the global market place. I am honored to recognize six outstanding educators today with the Governor’s Shine Awards for providing students with every opportunity to succeed in the classroom.” Milner teaches K-5 Art at Springfield Elementary and was named the school’s 2015 Teacher of the Year. She organizes “Fine Arts Night” for students to display their artwork at school, and she has also painted murals throughout campus. Milner volunteers as a board member in a non-profit youth football program.

Henshaw-Whitley Teacher Excellence Award 2016

Nathalie Hall

Nathalie Hall | Bay High School

When students first walk into Nathalie Hall’s reading class, they are greeted by a hanging red cap and gown and a reminder to “keep your eyes on the prize.” Hall spends her first day of class at Bay High School photographing each of her sophomore students in the outfit — often ill-fitting — and hanging their pictures on the wall as a reminder that the skills they work on in her room extend beyond their year together. “It’s a reminder that what you’re working for isn’t for right now; it’s for later,” Hall said. Hall recently was bestowed the Henshaw-Whitley Teacher Excellence Award, a prestigious award given annually to Bay High faculty who make “major contributions to students’ lives,” according to a release from the district.

Graceville High school TEACHER-OF-THE-YEAR 2015-2016

Cynthia Bloomer

Amanda Bloomer | Graceville High School

Mrs. Bloomer is the Graceville High School Teacher-of-the Year for 2016.  She has been at Graceville High School since 2005 and is a Science Teacher.  Mrs. Bloomer is a 2006 graduate of the EPI Program at GCSC and has certification in Biology 6-12.  Graceville High School's mission statement sums up the hard work of Mrs. Bloomer:   Small Town ... Big Thinkers!!! Administrators are building a Safe Haven. Faculty and Staff are building Expectations. Students are building Imaginations. Community Members are building Endless Opportunities. Parents are building Tomorrow's Leaders. We are Graceville High School!!

Golden Apple - Teacher of the Week - October 2016



Jonathan Iler | West Bay Elementary School

Mr. Iler teaches 5th grade at West Bay Elementary School and is a 2013 graduate of the EPI program at GCSC.  He stated "I got into teaching because I like to see that ‘aha' moment when they're really understanding something". In his science class, that moment can come from getting their hands a little dirty.  He continues, "Just having the kids read a book, doesn't really get everything they need. I do a little bit of that, but I do a lot of hands on. Their vocabulary includes terms like solutions, mixtures, volume, and density. They make that connection when they see science in action."

Bay Haven Charter Academy Teacher-of-the-Year (Elementary) 2015-2016


 Christie Bascetta | Bay Haven Charter Academy

Mrs. Bascetta has been a Kindergarten teacher at Bay Haven Charter Academy since 2010 and her class is called "Bascetta's Busy Bees". She states on her web site "The days with my Busy Bees will be busy (some would say like 'bees') with something new and exciting. Each day will be designed to help my Busy Bees to learn and grow as students. It is my goal to provide each child who walks through my door with the best kindergarten adventure where they will not only have a love for reading and math but  an overwhelming thirst for learning as a whole.  I look forward to working in partnership with my Busy Bee parents and their families, to ensure that our Busy Bees have an optimal kindergarten experience."

Bay Haven Charter Academy Teacher-of-the-Year (Middle) 2015-2016


 Randy Wolfe | Bay Haven Charter Academy

Mr. Wolfe is a middle school Social Studies teacher at Bay Haven Charter Academy. He states on his web site " This year we will be traveling through the ancient world learning about different civilizations and their cultures. It is important to study history so that we may learn from the past and how it can potentially have an impact on our future. I hope your enjoy your time learning about these ancient worlds."