Wildwood teacher, finalist for state’s top educator, builds strong relationships with students
On Tuesday, Francisco Garaitonandia, an art teacher at Volusia County’s Citrus Grove Elementary, learned he was one of five finalists for Florida’s teacher of the year.
On Wednesday, similar good news came to Wildwood Elementary School in Sumter County.
Brittany Brown was reading from the class novel when a line of people carrying balloons and cameras barged into her fourth grade classroom.
Florida Chancellor of Public Education Jacob Oliva spoke first.
“And I am here to announce right now to Mrs. Brown and your class that she is one of the top five finalists for Florida’s …,” Oliva said a cheers broke out.
Florida’s teacher of the year will be announced in July.
Brown’s principals — past and present — say what really makes the language arts teacher stand out is the way she relates with students.
Here’s how Brown explains it.
“I know that, in order for the students to see success, we have to first build that relationship,” she said. “They have to trust me. And they have to know that I have their best interest at heart. And then once we establish that, then they soar.”
So they get the final word: “Congratulations, Mrs. Brown!”
Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter
Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.GET THE LATEST