Charlotte Wadsworth, Baker School, Named OCSD Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Charlotte Wadsworth (pictured above in the middle), Baker School, for winning Okaloosa County School District Teacher of the Year.  The selection of the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year actually began in the fall of 2015 when each school announced its honoree.  In December, each school’s Teacher of the Year submitted a portfolio that included a detailed resume, responses to questions about their teaching philosophy and practice, and comments about the teaching profession.  Finalists were announced by the selection committee in January, and committee members visited their classrooms to observe them in action before selecting the winner announced Thursday night.

Charlotte Wadsworth, Baker School – Teacher of the Year

“I started my career in education as a homeschool mom.  As my own children matured and desired a classroom environment, opportunities arose for me to be a ‘real teacher’.  I taught at several local schools, but teaching high school English at Baker School was my ultimate goal. I love the Baker community.  My family and I live there, play there, and have developed lifelong relationships in Baker.  As a career changer, professional development shapes what happens in my classroom. I diligently seek ways to improve my instruction and increase student performance.  As a yearbook advisor, I celebrate life’s milestones, rejoice in students’ athletic or academic accomplishments, and capture the events that create community in Baker. My goal each day is to prevent a student looking back and saying, “I didn’t pass because Mrs. Wadsworth didn’t teach or didn’t care.” Real, rigorous instruction creates unlimited opportunities for students.  Few things in life are as rewarding as watching a student experience newfound academic success and reap the benefits of a solid education.”

Annie Riggins, Meigs Middle School – Teacher of the Year Finalist

“Early in my career I was placed in positions of leadership within my school, given opportunities to lead my colleagues in professional development, and presented with experiences to gain cultural understanding of education abroad.  After ten years teaching in Florida and abroad in Cairo, Egypt, I returned to my hometown to teach middle school math at Meigs.  Accepting the challenge of teaching the lowest quartile of 6th graders, I have found an intense desire for something different, something better for these students to find success.  I have grown in my teaching skills and practices and really enjoy the chance to make an impact not only with student learning but also influencing social issues in our community, and embracing families who have profound needs.  Meigs has been the perfect place to partner with the next generation to improve their chance at a successful future.”

Rosemarie Morris, STEMM Academy – Teacher of the Year Finalist

“Work that I love, constantly changing opportunities to improve and grow, working with intelligent, dynamic, and caring people every day make me the most blessed woman on this planet.  I have spent most of my career working with students who struggled academically.  Now, at the STEMM Academy, I work with kids who are advancing at an accelerated rate.  I have taught “highly effectively” in all four content areas, primarily Science in the beginning and Math later on, and the Aviation elective. I coached Academic Teams and volunteered the past 15 years with Odyssey of the Mind.  I am on the Odyssey of the Mind, Emerald Coast Region, Board of Directors and volunteered at Regional, State, and World tournaments.  I assist colleagues as a Gradebook Manager, Mentor Digital educator, and I maintain the STEMM website. I serve on the District’s Teacher Evaluation Committee as an OCEA representative. Currently, Mrs. Jackson and I are working to introduce Restorative Justice concepts to our District.   I am exceedingly grateful for these opportunities to serve and to grow professionally and personally.”

The Okaloosa County Teacher of the Year will compete with teachers from 71 public school districts and other institutions in Florida for the state’s top honor.  As our district winner, Charlotte will also participate in the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Roundtable and the Macy’s Gala Awards Ceremony in July when the state winner will be announced. 

One new Grand Prize this year…Charlotte will get to use a BMW 528i for one year compliments of ZT Motors!

Making up the Selection Committee were Alyson Lofe’, Chair, Bluewater ES, Cathy Thigpen, Okaloosa County School Board member, Norma Eliason, Bruner MS, Linda Peaden, Baker School, and Catherine Beaudoin, Instructional Coach and the 2014-15 Teacher  of the Year.

Sponsors of this year’s event included: ZT Motors, team Lofe’ Century 21 Blue Marlin Realty Group, Okaloosa County Education Association, Mattie Kelly, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Beavers, Inc., CACI (Formerly L-3 Communications), and NWFTC/Round the Bay Relay.

Special thanks also go to: Karen Ott, Missie Skyes, and Brenda ZIns – Banquet Committee; Eric Mitchell and Brandon McSween – Slideshow Presentation; Richardo LeCompte – Master of Ceremonies;  and Pat Mixon – Program Design.

Bob Black, District Representative for U.S. Congressman Miller, presented a Congressional Proclamation to Charlotte as part of her recognition awards.

Congratulations to all of School Teachers of the Year:

Melissa Fincannon – Antioch ES


Linda Crane – Ballet Academie

Tracy Mankowich – Best Chance North

Angela Wargo – Bluewater ES

Kathy Thomas – Bob Sikes ES

Mose Johnson – Max Bruner MS

Sherman Johnson – Choctawhatchee HS

Chadley White – CHOICE HS

Lisa Kimbrough – Crestview HS

Tim Sexton – Davidson MS

Pam Creel – Destin ES

Courtney Murie – Destin MS

Mary Brown – Edge ES

Melinda Norman – Edwins ES

Suzanne Glassman – Troutman – Eglin ES

Cynthia Manley – Elliott Point ES

Linda Holland – Florosa ES

Kevin Schmidt – Fort Walton Beach HS

Michelle Mundy – Kenwood ES

Linda Glass – Laurel Hill School

Tom Burke – Lewis School

Kimberly Sutton – Longwood ES

Karlee Goeres – Mary Esther ES

Dan Wooten – Niceville HS

Missy Holley – Northwood ES

Heather McClaren – Plew ES

Glenda Nibert – Pryor MS

Otoo Rosero-Garces – Richbourg School

Patty Davis – Riverside ES

Carmen Patterson – Ruckel MS

Teresa Groat – Shalimar ES

Steve Box – Shoal River MS

Cheryl Rushing – Silver Sands School

Melody Delpozo – Southside Center

Regina Crutchfield – Walker ES

Rhonda Breland – Wright ES

To see a photo gallery of this event, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.