Elementary school teacher Donna Schroeder is Teacher of the Year

– Alachua County Public Schools

A veteran teacher from Glen Springs Elementary School has been named Alachua County’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

At the 22nd Annual Robert W. Hughes Teacher Recognition event, Donna Schroeder was announced as the teacher who will represent the district in the Florida Teacher of the Year program.

The event was sponsored by Florida Credit Union and Cox Communications and supported by many local businesses, organizations and individuals.

“I admit I am humbled and overwhelmed by this honor,” said Schroeder during her remarks at the ceremony. “It’s wonderful that teachers are honored by our community. I am proud to represent them and accept the appreciation they all deserve.”

Schroeder has been teaching for more than 40 years, typically younger students. She currently teaches a multi-age classroom of kindergarten, first graders and second graders at Glen Springs, where she’s been a member of the faculty since 2002. She’s passed on her love of teaching to her two daughters, who are also teachers.

Throughout her career, she’s also volunteered with child-centered community organizations, including the Girl Scouts. She currently works with children through her church.

Schroeder says she loves the attitude children bring to her classroom.

“Each day they come in eager and excited,” she said. “They want to be noticed and valued. They have taught me that each day is new and full of excitement and possibilities.”

A total of 41 Alachua County teachers were honored at the event, each receiving a bag of gifts and a $500 check made possible thanks to private donations from the community. Interim Superintendent Hershel Lyons said that support shows local citizens support teachers and public education.

“Even in the toughest economic times, this program has thrived,” said Lyons. “That’s a real tribute both to our education-minded community and our outstanding teachers.”

Schroeder was one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year honors. Also getting special recognition at this year’s ceremony were Ft. Clarke Middle School reading teacher Amanda Bush and Buchholz High School science teacher Marilyn Booher, who talked to about 500 audience members about the joys and challenges of teaching. The evening also included performances by local students.

Alachua County’s Teacher Recognition event is named after the former Alachua County school superintendent who established the program in 1992.

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