During one of the most challenging years for educators, teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure that their students have the tools necessary to succeed. From Winter Garden to Bithlo and Apopka to Hunter’s Creek, the Orange County teachers deserve to be recognized for all they do for their community and for their students.
And Chevrolet agrees! To celebrate and honor Teacher Appreciation Week earlier this month, Chevrolet and the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools collaborated to award 215 “Teachers of the Year” with 2 Walt Disney World park passes each!
Chevrolet said it is thrilled to be able to recognize the important work of all 215 teachers. This includes Ms. Jessica Benscoter, Instructional Coach for Stone Lakes Elementary School who believes students learn best when provided the opportunity to make connections beyond the classroom. “During this pandemic Ms. Benscoter has been the driving force in using the 3D printer to provide much needed PPE equipment for our community members! Teaching our students and families the importance of giving back to the community,” shared her Assistant Principal. “It is remarkable how she does it without any expectation for accolades but purely from her love and dedication to education, for our students, staff and for our community.”
As all of the Orange County “Teachers of the Year” prepare for graduation, summer break and now, Walt Disney World here is a snapshot of some of the OCPS recipients:
Laura Stile, 4th Grade, English Language Arts, Dream Lake Elementary School
Ms. Stile teaches her students what they need to be successful, with her greatest message being, “Treat every student with love, respect and dignity. Build strong, trusting relationships so that your classroom becomes a safe-haven for students.”
Parent Recommendation: “My beautiful, seemingly healthy, extremely bright, and active, seven year old son, Carson, was diagnosed with an inoperable, incurable, brain stem glioma on Christmas Day of 2002, while being a student in Mrs. Stile’s class… Carson had to endure daily rounds of radiation and soon became too weak to come to school. Mrs. Stile, who had five year old twin boys at the time, would teach her class at Dream Lake, then get off and come to my house and teach Carson. She didn’t advertise the things she did for Carson. She just cared about her student.”
Jessica Benscoter, Instructional Coach, Stone Lakes Elementary School
Ms. Benscoter’s method of teaching is rooted in Galileo’s philosophy that “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” She believes students learn best when provided the opportunity to make connections beyond the classroom.
Asst. Principal Recommendation: “During this pandemic Mrs. Benscoter has been the driving force in using the 3D printer to provide much needed PPE equipment for our community members! Teaching our students and families the importance of giving back to the community.”
Jesse Cohen, Theatre, Innovation Middle School
Rather than abandon a spring performance, Mr. Cohen found a play written for quarantine, “Ten Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine.” The students rehearsed and performed the play virtually, providing them a platform to thrive and celebrate their success.
Principal Recommendation: “For anyone who is involved with putting on such a performance they would know that this is a feat in and of itself, but that’s not the amazing part. The amazing part that is noticed most is how methodical and intentional Mr. Cohen is to give students a voice. That is his super power.”
Richardo Delfosse, Civics, Lockhart Middle School
Having grown up in the community he serves, Mr. Delfosse understands firsthand the adversity his students face. He believes education is the great equalizer in its ability to promote growth and foster change for those in need, and with that, he challenges his students to strive for success beyond what their current environment offers.
Principal Recommendation: “It is often said that teaching is a matter of the heart and I truly believe that Mr. Delfosse gives and instructs from his heart…Educating our future is truly an inside job, a matter of the heart, and Mr. Delfosse has a huge heart full of love to share with our students and those he will impact in the future.”