Teachers at two West Volusia high schools have brought home awards from national or state organizations, a pair of news releases from Volusia County Schools reported.
Jennifer Cherry, a marine science and AP environmental science teacher at University High School in Orange City, has been named the 2020 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA).
The annual national award is presented for effective and innovative classroom teaching at any level from elementary school through high school and was awarded during the NMEA’s annual conference, one news release said.
Farrah Johnson, a teacher at Deltona High School, has been named the 2021 Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) Teacher of the Year, an honor presented annually by the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education, according to the other news release.
The FACTE Award recognizes teachers who are providing outstanding career and technical-education programs for youth and/or adults in their respective fields and communities. Recipients of this award must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education, according to the release.
University High’s Cherry teaches students in AP environmental science and Cambridge International Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Marine Science and Marine Science Honors courses. She created and sponsored the Ecology Club, where students participate in volunteer programs such as the Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup Day and other volunteer programs. She also sponsors University High School’s Earth and Surf Club and Envirothon Team.
She is currently pursuing a double master’s degree in environmental leadership and environmental management, the news release about her said.
Cherry inspires her students, colleagues, administrators and community members with her commitment to and enthusiasm for the marine environment, the nomination said. She uses art, science, photography, volunteerism, adopting endangered species, beach cleanups, and estuarine studies in her classroom teaching to engage her students, according to the release.
An agriculture instructor at Deltona High for two decades, Johnson is an unwavering pillar of the school and state’s agriculture curriculum, and a truly exemplary model of a dedicated teacher, the award said.
Johnson’s agriculture classes host 130 to 160 students a year, and students who complete the three-class series can earn college scholarships and industry certifications. The school also includes a 10-acre land-lab to house student SAE animal projects.
According to the news release about her, Johnson previously was named the Volusia County Schools CTE Teacher of the Year in 2020 and served on the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Program in 2014.