NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A fourth-grade teacher at Yulee Elementary School was named Nassau County School District's "Teacher of the Year."
Jessica Watkins was announced as the district's top educator at a gala hosted by the Nassau County Education Foundation on Friday at the Ritz-Carlton.
Watkins, who has spent eight years in education, received a $1,000 check.
Congratulations to Mrs. Jessica Watkins for being named Nassau County School District’s Teacher of the Year! We are proud to have you represent our District. pic.twitter.com/Ygafrdvamf— Nassau County School (@NassauSchoolsFL) January 21, 2019
When Watkins was nominated to represent Yulee Elementary as the county's "Teacher of the Year," she shared the following words:
Being able to build relationships with my students is one of the main reasons I teach. I enjoy seeing each student grow when I put the time and effort into knowing them, not just in an academic way, but a personal way as well. I believe that when students know they are loved and cared for they will willingly rise to any challenge set before them. I enjoy building these relationships with my students and watching them grow through their year with me and beyond."
Watkins was then named by Dr. Kathy Burns, the school district's superintendent, as one of five "Teacher of the Year" finalists. The other four finalists were:
Jonathan Goodwin, Yulee High School
Angie Jarrett, Hilliard Middle-Senior High School
Sarah Palmer, Callahan Intermediate School
Katherine Thrift, Callahan Elementary School