2024 Teachers of the YearDecember 5, 2022
P.K. Yonge is pleased to announce our district and school divisional Teachers of the Year.
- 2024 District Teacher of the Year: Natalie Andrews
- 2024 Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Natalie Andrews
- 2024 Secondary School Teacher of the Year: Leigh Anne Brewster
2024 District Teacher of the Year and 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year: Natalie Andrews
As a teacher in our 2/3 learning community, Natalie represents P.K.’s values of inclusivity and respect.
Natalie’s nominator summarized what makes Natalie such a special part of our Blue Wave community, “Natalie’s smile and energy allows for students to feel safe and cared for not just in her classroom, but all across our campus.”
Natalie is known for communicating with students and families with kindness and respect. She takes the time and care to build relationships with them.
Every aspect of Natalie’s teaching has strong differentiation for students, high levels of student engagement, and a classroom community that is full of value and respect for each person as an individual. Her and her third grade team have some of the highest reading FSA scores in the state year after year. Through her teaching, she meets each student where they’re at, supports their academic growth, and helps them master the art of putting the “we over the me.”
In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Natalie’s involvement with the school community is exemplary. Natalie coaches Odyssey of the Mind and Girls on the Run. Her involvement with the Blue Wave community doesn’t stop with elementary either. In the past, she has served as a chaperone for the Rosa Rabell high school summer exchange trip to Costa Rica and chaperoned the speech and debate team to national competition. She also serves as the elementary representative for the Faculty Policy Council.
Natalie has been a member of the Blue Wave community since 2013 and received her bachelor’s and master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Florida.
2024 Secondary Teacher of the Year: Leigh Anne Brewster
Leigh Anne Brewster has elevated the Blue Wave robotics program to new heights in the six years that she has been at P.K. Yonge. The dedication that Leigh Anne shows to her students and her First Robotics teams is amazing. Her students are always motivated to do incredible work, which is in large part due to Leigh Anne’s teaching and coaching.
The work that Leigh Anne has done to create a vibrant Career and Technical Education engineering program is impressive. To accomplish this, she dedicated herself to professional learning with the Project Lead the Way curriculum and the engineering pathway. This has allowed her to provide students with rich and interesting projects. Her students are deeply invested in the work that they are doing. The depth of knowledge and skill required of her students shows her commitment to this work. Under her guidance, the robotics program has significantly increased the number of female students who participate in the program and earn certificates.
The P.K. Yonge FIRST Robotics teams are also accomplished under Leigh Anne’s guidance. The teams often are awarded the Gracious Professionalism and Cooperation Awards. These awards showcase a team that is the most cooperative, helpful, supportive team to other teams at competition. Not only are these two attributes a cornerstone of the FIRST Robotics team program, it also reflects on Leigh Anne’s coaching. The time that she, her students, team mentors and volunteers dedicate to robotics is inspiring. The teams continually rank competitively among Florida schools for their skill and ability on the competition floor.
Leigh Anne has inspired her robotics team to have service be a primary part of their experience. Their work with assistive technology makes the world a better place. Students are retrofitting toys with assistive technologies, retrofitting wheel chairs with both improvements to functionality as well as decorative theming that makes the wheelchairs both functional and fun for children. Under her guidance, the robotics team created Magic Wheelchairs for local students. The joy on those student’s faces when they received their paw patrol costumes was unforgettable. The teams are constantly looking for projects that combine engineering and assistive technology so they can learn and serve at the same time.
Leigh Anne has been a member of the Blue Wave community since 2016 and has a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, master’s in Environment-Based Learning/Education, and education specialist degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies K-12. Additionally, she’s certified in Project Lead the Way in Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, and Engineering Design and Development.Back to News >