Sharica Howard Honored
ECB Publishing, Inc.
A teacher is often the bridge to a future of greatness for his, or her students.
Sharica Howard, a fourth grade teacher at Jefferson Somerset K-12, was one of this years' High Impact Teachers selected by the Florida Department of Education (DOE).
The DOE released a list of their High Impact Teachers, who were selected through an examination of the teachers' impact on student lives through an evaluation on student performance on state standardized assessments during the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.
The teachers selected must have taught English Language Arts (grades 4-10), mathematics (4-8), or algebra (grades 8-9) in order to qualify.
On Monday, April 9, Howard was honored by Jefferson County
Superintendent Marianne Arbulu and the school board members as a letter from DOE Commissioner Pam Stewart was read aloud.
“We know more than ever about the impact teaching has on student outcomes. With this knowledge comes the opportunity to celebrate successes and to support all educators in their journey to become more effective in the classroom,” wrote Commissioner Stewart in her statement letter that was by Arbulu. “That starts by recognizing you. Thank you for your hard work. You are appreciated.”
As Superintendent Arbulu finished reading Commissioner Stewart's letter to all High Impact Teachers, she echoed the sentiments that had been expressed, and thanked Howard for her efforts within the school.
Jefferson Somerset Principal Cory Oliver stood to address the board and praise Howard, remarking that Howard's dedication was bigger than simply for her students.
“High Impact means you make an impact everywhere,” said Oliver. “I was so impressed with how much she cares about our kids and our community.”
“She has the ability to teach anywhere in the world,” added
Vice-Principal Andre Gainey. “She is dedicated; her blood, sweat and tears are for Monticello. That's special; each and everyone of the kids and each and everyone she comes in contact with knows that she's not just about teaching, but about changing the lives of the kids who were born and raised here.”
From the school board, Chairperson Sandra Saunders offered praise for the rest of the board members.
“Ms. Howard, we are all so proud of you for everything you do,” said Saunders, with the rest of the board quickly nodding in agreement.
An alumna of Flagler College, Howard double majored in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education.
“I am a teacher because it is my passion,” said Howard in an interview. “I feel like I have a gift for teaching, and I can give back to my community through it.”
Howard has been teaching in Jefferson County schools for three years, and currently teaches fourth graders in the subjects of social studies, science, math, reading and writing.
When she was awarded as a High Impact Teacher, Howard was teaching 5th grade at the time.
Wayne Fennell, a 5th Grade student at Jefferson Somerset K-12 and one of Howard's former students, believed it was Howard's ability to make learning fun that qualified her as one of the most positive impacts within Florida's teachers.
“I think Ms. Howard is one of the best teachers I've ever had,” said Fennell. “She'll do anything for you to help you get a good education.”
Fennell added that in the classroom, Howard often mixed the personal interests of her students with the educational material for each day to help make learning fun. “Sometimes we would sing songs about what we were learning,” added Fennell.
Howard has invested all of her time and heart as a teacher into Jefferson County's students, since, as a Jefferson County Native herself, Howard was once a student of the Jefferson County school system and graduate of Jefferson County High School. Howard has family here; Jefferson County is where her siblings, parents, nieces, nephews and extended family all live.
This county is her home, and her heart and she is doing what she can to help make the futures of Jefferson County and it's citizens successful.