School District Honors 2024 Teacher of the Year

School District Honors 2024 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 12/19/2023
School District Honors 2024 Teacher of the Year

The School District of Lee County is excited to announce that Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School teacher Maria Rose is the 2024 Lee County Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Christopher Bernier, Board members, District administrators and school staff surprised Rose this morning with her award.

“I just love what I do and I love these children and I love this school,” Rose said just after presented her award. “To celebrate all of that together, I was totally surprised.”

Rose is a first-grade teacher at Edison Park who says she is blessed with the mission of teaching children to read. She was recognized as a Golden Apple Teacher by the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools in 2018.

“I can’t think of a better gift to give a child than the ability to read, so that’s our sole purpose in first grade,” Rose said. “Reading is where the magic is at. To know I’ve had something to do with them being a fluent reader, there is nothing that can compare to that.”

Rose has spent all thirty of her years teaching at Edison Park, serving on the PTA the entire time. Her husband is a teacher at Tice Elementary and her mom, the 2022 state Volunteer of the Year, spends five hours a day in her classroom helping with small group math and reading instruction.

“Mrs. Rose is an exemplary educator who has been a member of the School District of Lee County for 30 years,” said Edison Park Principal Sherri Wipf. “During her 30 years of service, she has taught first and second graders how to read and learn the joy of reading. She always goes beyond traditional teaching to ensure all students’ physical and emotional needs are met. Her achievements are beyond measure, her influence is beyond limits and her impact on students and staff make her deserving of Teacher of the Year.”

The Lee County Teacher of the Year program recognizes certified personnel for the significant contributions they make to their school and The School District of Lee County. The program honors one representative as Lee County’s Teacher of the Year. The nominees 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, coworkers, parents and the community.

A selection committee composed of community members, former principals, teacher representatives and District administrative staff review applications and identify, interview and select the finalists for the Teacher of the Year.

The District also wishes to congratulate Teacher of the Year finalists Barbara Rebeor from Harns Marsh Middle School and Laura Jordan from Caloosa Elementary. The District will forward Rose’s application to the state for consideration as 2024 Florida Teacher of the Year. She will be formally recognized by the School Board at an upcoming meeting.