On Friday, Nov. 13, English teacher and assistant Leadership adviser Lauren Hamilton’s classroom was packed with the entire administrative team, come to notify her that she had been selected as Teacher of the Year.
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Teachers are nominated for this title by fellow faculty members and are then selected by a Teacher of the Year Committee, which includes past recipients of the award.
“I was not expecting it at all,” Hamilton said. “I’ve only been teaching for nine years, and to win this honor, especially at this school, says a lot about the people who have helped me along the way through mentorships, how supportive the administration is and how good the students I have are.”
Since accepting the award, Hamilton said that she has received an abundance of support from the community, even receiving cards of congratulations in her mailbox and being stopped in Publix by former students, neighbors and other staff members.
“It’s important that we recognize teachers who are dedicated to the profession because it’s not just a clock-in job; it’s a 24 hour job. It’s an art,” fellow English teacher Samantha Richardson said. “She is one of the most dedicated teachers I’ve ever worked with, and there would be no better person to receive it.”
Mentor and fellow AP Language and Composition teacher Helen Reed was the first to express her pride in Hamilton, the person to whom she passed down her duties as English Department Chair.
“If you walk into Lauren’s classroom at any given moment, you will witness what her students see every day: a teacher who knows her stuff and knows how to reach her students, a coach who challenges and stimulates a love for learning, a pro who handles trials and adversity with skill,” Reed said in her letter of recommendation to the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. “Lauren is a teacher in every sense of the word; she personifies the very best in our profession.”
Hamilton’s students have also reached out to offer their congratulations.
“[Hamilton] was a great pick for teacher of the year. She puts so much effort into her teaching and my writing has improved tremendously from taking AP Lang,” senior Ashtyn Maccagnano said. “As a leadership teacher, she is awesome, as well as super organized and creative, so she has been a great addition to the class this year.”
Hamilton thanks her students for keeping her engaged with new perspectives on writing, literature and life in general, and the community for the positive response.
“I’m just really blessed to be here with my students and colleagues and to have such support from administration, my family and the community,” Hamilton said. “I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Hamilton is now looking forward to the announcement of Seminole County’s top 10 Teachers of the Year, which is due by the end of the week.