Superintendent Bobby Pearce with Teacher of the Year Lesley Jamison and Assistant Superintendent Sunny Chancy.

By DANIEL LILLY Of Wakulla Schools

Lesley Jamison, District Instructional Coach was announced by Superintendent of Wakulla County Schools Bobby Pearce as the 2023 Wakulla County Teacher of the Year.

Curriculum Coordinator Holly Harden, Riversprings Middle School Principal Joshua Sandgren and her fellow Riversprings Bears congratulated Jamison who received balloons and flowers from Superintendent Pearce and Assistant Superintendent Sunny Chancy.

“Lesley Jamison is the epitome of what a teacher should be. As an instructional coach, Lesley wears many hats including resource provider, data coach, curriculum and instructional specialist, mentor, classroom supporter, learning facilitator, school leader, change catalyst, and learner. She is a valuable member of the Wakulla County School Instructional team and is here to help make a difference for all students in Wakulla County. Of her many responsibilities, she organizes and facilitates district professional development in all content areas, coaches and assists teachers with curriculum development, and develops and monitors standards-based district wide assessments that measure ongoing student performance. Each school has a Multi-Tiered System of Supports team. She is an integral member that helps educators meet the academic, behavioral, and social emotional needs of students.

Helping to align supports and interventions to the needs of students is at the core of her role. Lesley works with teachers to implement best practices in instructional planning and delivery through mentoring. She participates in professional learning communities and is a driving force for instructional change. Lesley is passionate about elevating the education profession and exemplifies this through her daily interactions with colleagues,” says Holly Harden. Harden continued, “During her time in Wakulla County School District, not only has Lesley developed her teaching practices, but she has also become a leader within the district. She has been instrumental in implementing new curriculum and instructional strategies, and in changing mindsets to ensure all students receive a high-quality education. She can reflect on all aspects of the educational environment to make decisions that directly impact student outcomes. Her success reflects the excellence she expects from herself, as well as the hard-work, compassion, and heart she brings to everything she does. She is an exceptional representative for Wakulla County and the entire education profession.”

This is Mrs. Jamison’s second year as an instructional coach and 11th year teaching overall. Jamison holds a bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership. She has taught high school and after moving to Florida, 7th grade language arts and critical thinking for seven years before becoming an instructional coach.

“What inspires me as an educator is possibility. There is so much possibility when it comes to the field of education. For students, education opens every door of possibility. School is where students can learn to dream big and know that anything is within their reach if they lean on their education and nurture the desire to learn something new every day.”

Holly Harden with Wakulla Teacher of the Year Lesley Jamison.

“For educators, we get to be the ones to hand students the key that opens those doors for possibility. While we may not be able to use that key for them to open doors, we get to encourage them, challenge them, and painstakingly nudge them along to help them use that key to explore every opportunity life has to offer them. Our everyday interactions with students can help to guide them every step of the way for the rest of their lives. It is a privilege to enrich the life of a young person and be that voice of encouragement that makes them stop saying ‘I can’t’ and start saying ‘I will.’ ” says Jamison.

Jamison has a long list of accomplishments, she was previously Riversprings Middle School Teacher of the Year 2018-2019 and has been both a Kagan Coach and Teacher Coach. Jamison has also coached athletics including track and field, soccer, and baseball as well as cheerleading. She is a District Collaboration Team Facilitator and is the Florida B.E.S.T. Standards Math/ELA Liaison.

Jamison will go on to compete with the other 71 District Teachers of the Year for a Top Five Finalists spot. All school districts Teachers of the Year will be honored at the Florida Department of Education program in Orlando where the Florida Teacher of the Year will be announced.

The seven outstanding School-Level Teachers of the Year for 2022-2023 are Kelly Tomberlin for Crawfordville Elementary; Shari Smith for Medart Elementary; Kristen Cason for Riversink Elementary; Marsha Dixon for Shadeville Elementary; William Taylor for Riversprings Middle; Lindsey Perez for Wakulla Middle; and Krissy Sanchez for Wakulla High School.

Assistant Superintendent Sunny Chancy and the Instructional Services Department coordinate the Teacher of the Year Program and Breakfast. “As always we wish Mrs. Jamison the best at the state level competition but are most proud of her accomplishments and dedication to our students. Wakulla County Schools Teacher of the Year remains such an achievement because of the excellent teachers in our district.” concludes Superintendent Pearce.