February 20, 2018
Teachers of the Month and Employee of the Month for February were honored at the Wakulla County School Board Meeting on February 20, 2018.
Teachers Jessica Johnson and Katrina Roddenberry plus employee Nanna Miller were selected by their peers to be recognized for their positive impact on Wakulla County students, staff, and community.
Medart Elementary chose Jessica Johnson as their Teacher of the Month for February. Educated in Wakulla County schools, Johnson attended Crawfordville Elementary, Wakulla Middle, and graduated from Wakulla High School.
She then went on to earn her Associate of Arts (AA) degree at Tallahassee Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Flagler College. In addition, she graduated from Florida State University with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
Now in her 15th year of teaching, Johnson notes, “I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade. I interned with Mrs. Susanne Porter and have been a Medart Mustang ever since.”
Currently a 3rd grade teacher for the fifth year, Johnson also has taught 1st grade for two years, 2nd grade for six years, and 4th grade for two years.
Says Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “I am especially happy to see Mrs. Johnson get this award as I was fortunate to hire her when I was principal of Medart. Seeing her in action on a daily basis for 8 years, I can say she is very deserving of this award. She is all about the students.”
Adds Johnson, “The best part about teaching is when I see that my students are actively learning and using what we have learned in class to be successful.”
“We had a Project Learning Tree Week in January and had a lot of visitors come and present about nature and science. It was really neat to see the students so engaged and excited about learning.”
Johnson has been a Project Learning Tree Coordinator for two years, a Junior Optimist Club Sponsor for two years, and has been the Medart Green Team Sponsor for four years.
Current Medart Principal Stan Ward says, “Ms. Johnson is the type of teacher every principal wants on their campus. Without fail, she is one of the first to step up when I need help with any given task. She loves what she does and it shows in her everyday interactions with her peers and each student she encounters.”
“I am extremely thankful to have her as one of my teachers, and I look forward to all that she will accomplish for our school and students in the future.”
Wakulla Middle School 8th grade science teacher Katrina Roddenberry is their February Teacher of the Month.
Originally from Tallahassee, she earned an AA degree at Tallahassee Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Flagler College, and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indianapolis University.
Roddenberry spent eight years working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before she began teaching. “My first experience with the Wakulla County School System was as a volunteer at Crawfordville Elementary in my daughter’s classes. I fell in love with the school district and went on to pursue my degree in Elementary Education.”
“I completed my internship at Crawfordville and was hired as a third grade teacher at Riversink Elementary the first year it opened in 2008.”
She taught 3rd grade for five years and 5th grade for 4 years at Riversink before taking a job at Wakulla Middle School teaching 8th grade science for the 2017-2018 school year.
“I am thrilled when my students have learned to truly enjoy a challenge and they try new and difficult tasks with a sense of purpose and excitement,” Roddenberry observes. “I especially love when my students begin to see themselves capable of accomplishing amazing feats. My favorite part of teaching is engaging students in challenges and seeing them work together to solve problems.”
This year at Wakulla Middle, Roddenberry, fellow WMS science teacher Melissa Martin, and their 8th grade Integrated Science classes have been selected by NASA to participate in the Microgravity University Challenge. Students earn high school credit for the Integrated Science course.
“Our team was the only middle school team selected for this nation-wide high school challenge!” says Roddenberry.
“In March, Mrs. Martin and I will take four amazing students to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas to test our students’ device in the NASA Vehicle Mock-Up Facility. It is my utmost hope that this experience will inspire all of our students to reach for the stars!”
Roddenberry has been an Odyssey of the Mind coach for four years, was a crew member of the Space Educator Expedition Crew, is a Teacher Liaison with the Space Foundation, and is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society of Women Educators.
She also is an adjunct instructor at Flagler College’s Tallahassee branch.
Says WMS Principal Tolar Griffin, “Katrina has only been with us this school year, yet she has already had a tremendous impact on our school as a whole. As an 8th grade science teacher, she immediately co-planned our solar eclipse activities in August. She has maintained that pace throughout the year by not only planning and implementing dynamic standards-based learning activities in class, but also planning enrichment activities for the students beyond the classroom.”
“I am tremendously proud that she is a Wakulla Middle School Wildcat.”
The Wakulla County District Office voted for Speech and Language paraprofessional Nanna Miller as Employee of the Month for February.
Miller grew up in Georgia and earned an AA degree from Valdosta State College. She went on to work as a secretary for several State of Florida agencies before becoming Administrative Assistant to a dean at Florida State University.
After 36 years in administrative and managerial positions, she and her husband thought that Wakulla County would be an ideal place for semi-retirement.
She applied for the Speech and Language paraprofessional position with Wakulla County Schools in 2006, and is now in her 12th year in that position.
“I love everything about my job, including, most of all, my interactions with the students as well as with my supervisors Tanya English and Nicole Klees and co-workers. My only regret is that after all the years I have worked in corporate jobs, I finally found the best job I could ever have, which happens to be the last one before I retire,” Miller says.
“Probably the most rewarding experience was when a high school student left a note on my desk one day thanking me for being such a positive influence on her life. It was totally unexpected but made me realize what a difference we can make in these young people’s lives.”
Notes supervisor Tanya English, Executive Director of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services, “If you looked up ‘Steel Magnolia’ in the dictionary, surely there would be a picture of Nan Miller. She is the epitome of grace and gentility tempered with grit!”
English adds, “Our students are blessed to have her as a role model, as am I, with her professional, calm demeanor. At the same time, she ensures that our students are challenged during therapy sessions and she prepares lessons and activities that motivate them. Her get ‘er done work ethic makes her an outstanding employee.”
Says Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “It is an honor to award these three ladies who are recognized by their peers as exceptional at their jobs. They represent hundreds of others in our school system who put our children first every day.”