OUR POSITION^p: Two Charlotte County teachers are setting an example of exceptional performance in the classroom.^p

You may not know Jenna Fox or Andrea Green. But, if you do, thank them for the impact they are making on Charlotte County students.

And, if you don’t know them, be glad we have teachers of their ability and passion making a difference in our schools.

Green is a science teacher at Lemon Bay High School who was recently named the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year. Fox is a culinary instructor at Charlotte Technical College who was named the Teacher of the Year by the Association of Career and Technical Education.

It’s OK to applaud now.

Two stories published recently in the Sun^p by Brianna Kwasnik and Elaine Allen-Emrich detailed how respected and loved both of these instructors are by their students and their peers.

It was a co-worker, Jason Osborne, who nominated Fox for her national award. And Deelynn Bennett, director of CTC, said it is Fox’s “can-do” attitude that made her exceptionally qualified for the award.

“She always needs to be challenged and/or looking for challenges. Status Quo is not in her vocabulary,” Bennett said of Fox in Kwasnik’s story. “She is self-driven and motivated to be her best in everything she does.”

Fox accepted the award with the humility she is known for — saying the honor meant the world to her and that it was an accomplishment she “thought would be out of my reach.”

Fox coordinates the CTC programs for Baking and Pastry, Professional Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Fundamentals of Food Service. Her self-described motto is “never quit learning.”

Green likes to teach her students things relative to their lives. For example, her AP Environmental Science class wanted to get into the details of red tide and what it was all about. They studied contributing factors like nutrient runoff, water temperatures and trends. They came up with ideas of how they could help neutralize the scourge on our beaches and Gulf waters — including not over-fertilizing yards and picking up after pets.

It speaks to Green’s appeal to students that many of them select her class as an elective. It’s not often that STEM classes like science or math draw students who could be taking a class many consider easier and grade-friendly.

Perhaps it is Green’s love of her students that is the attraction. “I love spending time with my kids every day,” she said in a story by Allen-Emrich. “It feels like a family here. It has always felt like home. We take care of each other and it’s very important in teaching and education to have a solid support system.”

And, it’s not just in the classroom where Green shows her compassion for others. She and her mother spend the holidays each year collecting the names of seniors in nursing homes and making sure they have a gift for Christmas — something she gives her mother most of the credit for.

There are many fine teachers in our school systems. Often the great job they do every day goes unnoticed. When one of them is recognized locally, or nationally, it is symbolic of the hard work and effort they put into their profession.

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