Teacher of the Year

By Star Reed and Jake Greco

The teacher of the year awards has been announced by the staff at Pine Island Academy, and the 2023 recipients include Skylar Derr, Jacob Munger, Brittany Boden, Kristin Arnold and Lewis Corey.

Teacher of the Year is an award that is given to the teachers that best fit into each category. There is Rookie Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee of the Year. The winner of the award is voted on by fellow teachers and staff.

Derr is the elementary music teacher here at PIA. Derr has been teaching for three years, one year in Duval and two years at PIA. She plays the piano and loves to allow students to learn to love music. She received the Rookie Teacher of the Year award for elementary.

“It made me feel really good to hear my name,” Derr said, “…and I love working at Pine Island and I was super excited.”

Munger is the middle school gym teacher. This is his second-year teaching, and he is also the boys’ volleyball coach.

“I grew up playing a lot of sports, and being athletic, so I love to be able to teach that to kids and being a role model for kids.”

Another recipient includes Boden, a second-grade teacher.

“It felt good to be recognized by fellow teachers and staff,” said Boden “I am very grateful and appreciative, because so many teachers deserve this award as well.”

Arnold is a science teacher, who also teaches the news crew class and majored in journalism. She has been teaching for 11 years, and taught at schools including Osceola, Mill Creek and Pine Island. She has taught fourth grade, fifth grade and middle school.

“Every day is different, and just building relationships with kids, and letting them share their enjoyment with you,” responded Arnold after being asked about her favorite thing about teaching.

The final beneficiary is Corey, the school related employee of the year winner. Corey is the head of maintenance at PIA. He has been here at Pine Island for three years.

“He’s been with Pine Island ever since before the school opened.” said Kathleen Tompkins “He helps to keep our school clean and safe. He has helped me to hang pictures and set up my room.”