The rewards come daily for Rymfire Elementary School teacher Allison Kucharski. On Jan. 24, she won Flager Schools’ annual award as the district’s Teacher of the Year.
“It's truly an amazing feeling,” she said after hearing her name called at the district's annual awards gala at the Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center. “It's such a rewarding profession. The kids, their families, they inspire me everyday.”
Kucharski and Flagler Schools’ Employee of the Year Jimmy Sorrentino were honored at the annual gala celebrating the district's teachers, employees and rookie teachers of the year.
It's such a rewarding profession. The kids, their families, they inspire me everyday.”
— ALLISON KUCHARSKI, FLAGLER COUNTY TEACHER OF THE YEAR
The district also honored Principal of the Year Jessica DeFord of Belle Terre Elementary School and Assistant Principal of the Year Sara Novak of Matanzas High School. Those two awards were announced in November.
Kucharski has been teaching at Rymfire since the school opened in 2006. She taught kindergarten for 10 years and has been teaching second grade for the past seven years. The kids are her motivation, she said.
“Seeing them learn is just an amazing feeling. I love (second grade). They’re very inquisitive. They're super sweet, always wanting to learn, excited about everything,” Kucharski said.
Kucharski also mentors new English language learners in second through fifth grade, helping them with vocabulary words and reading on-grade texts.
Sorrentino, 58, is a campus advisor who also coaches four sports at Buddy Taylor Middle School. He is in his second year at the school after retiring from the landscaping business. He owned Christian Nursery and Landscaping in Bunnell.
“My wife, Teresa Sorrentino, pulled me in, and they hired me on the spot. It's like a retirement job, but it's fun. You get to mold kids’ minds,” he said. “As a coach, you get to teach 1,300 kids common sense, how to talk, how to act when something goes down, how to own up to your mistake. I’m teaching them common sense and respect. The teachers do the rest.”
TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Melissa Atkinson-Brock, Bunnell Elementary School
Vanessa Ajayi, Belle Terre Elementary School
Chris Knox, Old Kings Elementary School
Allison Kucharski, Rymfire Elementary School
Annette Clemons, Wadsworth Elementary School
James Thrall, iFlagler
Catherine Jerrells, Buddy Taylor Middle School
Erica Babcock, Indian Trails Middle School
Maria Godino-Faircloth, Flagler Palm Coast High School
Karin Feist, Matanzas High School
Bruce Winters, Flagler Technical College
ROOKIE TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Haley Eubanks, Bunnell Elementary School
Selah Gargon, Belle Terre Elementary School
Brian Seijo, Old Kings Elementary School
Meghan Mazie, Rymfire Elementary School
Andrea Puckrein, Wadsworth Elementary School
Megan Kisner, Buddy Taylor Middle School
Hannah Anderson, Indian Trails Middle School
Ashlyn Wilkerson, Flagler Palm Coast High School
Janel Walker, Matanzas High School
EMPLOYEES OF THE YEAR
Madelaine Martinez Ortega, Bunnell Elementary School
Lisa Meade, Belle Terre Elementary School
Alicha Willis, Old Kings Elementary School
Lillian Delgado, Rymfire Elementary School
Cassie Bennett, Wadsworth Elementary School
Bedie Barnes, iFlagler
Jimmy Sorrentino, Buddy Taylor Middle School
McKenzie Carter Spak, Indian Trails Middle School
Ginger Smith, Flagler Palm Coast High School
Maryann Mlinac, Matanzas High School
Allison Castorino, Flagler Technical College
Nathalie Piedrahita, Custodial Services
Lina Chhay, Food and Nutrition Services
Tony Coates, Government Services Building
Ron Cacciolfi, Plant Services
Dawne Gilpin, Technology/IS
Graca DeOliveira, Transportation Services