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State designates 13 local educators “High Impact Teachers”

During the past school year, 13 teachers in the Gadsden County School District were designated “High Impact Teachers” by the Florida Department of Education.

This places these 13 among the most effective educators in the state, according to standards set by the Florida Department of Education.

Steve Scott, chairman of the Gadsden County School Board, said it was important for the public to know Gadsden County has these kinds of high quality teachers in its ranks.

“These are teachers the state has designated as High-Impact Teachers based on scientific data,” Scott said. “This is not just a popularity contest. The public needs to know that Gadsden County is working hard to recruit and retain quality teachers.”

Scott expressed pride that eight of the 13 High Impact Teachers in Gadsden County come from the Havana Magnet School, a pre-K through eighth grade school in his district.

“The Havana Magnet School is a high-performing school that was recognized as a National Distinguished Title 1 School this past year,” Scott said. “It is no surprise that a large reason for that recognition is because of the number of High Impact Teachers at the school. Havana Magnet School is a model for all our other schools in the district. We’d like to have that many High Impact Teachers at every school in our district.”

Greensboro Elementary School, George. W. Munroe Elementary School, Gadsden Elementary School and Chattachoochee Elementary School are also home to 2017-2018 High Impact Teachers.

One of these is Sandra Joseph, a third-grade math teacher who has taught at Greensboro Elementary since 1987. Joseph said she was “humbled by the honor” but added she couldn’t take all the credit “since it was a team effort.”

“My third-graders have been showing up with a much better foundation in math than before,” Joseph said. “Principal Stephen Pitts has been assigning teachers to teach in those areas that they are most comfortable teaching in, and we also have been having 90-minute teaching periods instead of 60-minute periods which has allowed us to get more work done. I think a lot of our school’s scores will be on the rise and we will have more High Impact Teachers in the future.”

“High Impact” designations are based largely on student scores on statewide standardized tests.

By Randall Lieberman