St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Joan Whitson
Early Literacy Coordinator, Early Learning Coalition of North Florida 

ELC Names Preschool Teacher of the Year 2016


February 1, 2017 | View PDF

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida's 2016 Preschool Teacher of the year Marie Klingner, receiving her award and gift basket

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida has selected 2016's "Preschool Teacher of the Year" recipient, as well as honoring all the nominations.

This year marks the 3rd Annual ELC of North Florida Preschool Teacher of the Year Award. The preschool teacher recognition acknowledges the quality, creativity and hard work of those who teach children during a time when, according to researchers, rapid brain development can be leveraged toward long-term academic achievement.

Nominees from the six counties that ELC covers have gone "above and beyond" to provide excellent learning environments and classroom experiences for preschool children. For the selection process, ELC sends out a nomination form to all of the preschools served.

This year we received the most competitive submissions yet. The submissions were filled with stories of inspiring career history and heartwarming anecdotes.

This year's Preschool Teacher of the Year winner was:

• St. Johns County: Marie Klingner of Memorial Lutheran Chapel School in St. Augustine. Marie creates "teachable moments" all day and her consistent support enables children to reach their highest potential.

This year's Preschool Teacher of the Year nominees were:

• Clay County: Elizabeth Biskentawi of: Lighthouse Learning Center in Orange Park. Biskentawi goes above and beyond to establish a relationship with each child and their family by offering open parent communication.

• Bradford County: Giana Jackson of Rainbow Center: Jackson is always attending trainings and works tirelessly to educate the children in her classes.

• Putnam County: Damaris Jimenez of Polka Dot Kids Center in Palatka: Jimenez believes in whole teaching and finding new ways to teach.

• Clay County: Jill Maunz of Shadowlawn Elementary in Green Cove Springs: Jill teaches the students with special needs and it is amazing to see the gains and growth of her students from the time they enter to the time they leave.

• Clay County: Lori Studenski of Amdromeda Preschool in Orange Park: Studenski has received a national CDA to teach VPK, and has been teaching at Andromeda for 11 years, she is an excellent role model for children, parents and staff.

"We celebrate and thank the important role these teachers have in supporting our youngest learners, who are our future leaders," said Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at ELC of North Florida.

The nominees were recognized at the Early Educators Conference with a luncheon and awards ceremony sponsored by Kaplan Early Learning on January 21, 2017.

All of the nominees received a certificate and thank you bag to commemorate their work and accomplishments.

Our mission is to serve parents, caregivers, and educators of children by managing and evaluating early childhood education programs through a quality school readiness delivery system in North Florida.

Address: 2450 Old Moultrie Road, Ste. 103, St. Augustine, FL 32086

Phone: 904-342-2267 Fax: 904-342-2268 • E-mail: [email protected]

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