The School District of Lee County is proud to honor the four recipients of the 2017-2018 Guest Teacher Silver Apple Award.


Rose Fitzpatrick has been a Guest Teacher in Lee County for eleven years. She is also a licensed Dental Hygienist with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. Rose discovered her love for educating children when her son entered Kindergarten eleven years ago at Pelican Elementary School. She has been a Guest Teacher ever since at Pelican Elementary due to the amazing administration and teaching staff. Rose hopes to continue doing what she loves for many years to come.


During her 45 years in education, Mary Stead has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and a Board of Education member. Her goal as a Guest Teacher is to support the teacher’s learning objectives in the classroom as well as provide students with the opportunity to complete their class work in a safe, respectful and nurturing environment. Over the past two years, Mary has been able to experience many different classroom settings such as theater, band, choir, robotics and in-class teacher support. Mary wishes to thank school administration and staff for their support, as well as the Board for the many workshops, websites and support provided to guest teachers.


Beth Wawrzyriak was born in Cleveland, Ohio and received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University. Beth was hired by ICI – Glidden Paints Adhesive Division where she enjoyed a fifteen year career, ending as the National Product Training Manager responsible for the development, implementation and training of internal company employees and external representatives. After her business career, Beth became a wife and mother to two daughters, ages fourteen and fifteen. Beth has been a Guest Teacher since February, 2016 and has guest taught at every level and in every subject area she could. Beth feels that the accumulation of her life experiences to date have made her the person she is today and is the reason for her success as a guest teacher


Theodore Gruber moved to Florida in the early 1970’s. He graduated from Edison Community College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) and the University of South Florida. Theodore worked for the Lee County School District for thirty-five years as a Special Education Teacher. He retired in 2010 when he began to work as a Guest Teacher.

The Guest Teacher of the Year program recognizes certified and non-certified Guest Teachers for the significant contributions they make to their schools and the District. One representative from elementary school, middle school, high school and the Special Centers is selected. The recipients are individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of their jobs, thereby earning the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators and coworkers.

All four Silver Apple Guest Teachers embody the District’s vision of being world-class through their work in our schools each day.