INK! to name St. Johns County Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year on Feb. 2

Teacher of the Year 2022-2023

The 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year campaign is a special recognition program to honor educators in St. Johns County public schools. INK! hosts the annual campaign to acknowledge and commemorate excellence in teaching, and emphasize the importance and impact of the profession. On Thursday, February 2, the St. Johns County Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year will be named at the 2023 Teacher of the Year event themed: We’re Wild About Teachers!

Finalist recipients include Tracy Clauson, a seventh and eighth grade teacher at Sebastian Middle School with more than 12 years of teaching students in English, Spanish, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and reading. She also focuses on mentoring teachers through her work and certification in the Professional Development Certification Program (PDCP) and Clinical Education Training (CET). Clauson holds workshops for her colleagues while providing students with better teaching methods in all disciplines. Clauson teaches her students through thinking, pairing, and sharing, and uses collective skills and expertise to accomplish tasks. Clauson resides in St. Augustine.

Amanda Devany teaches kindergarten through fifth grade students at Osceola Elementary School with more than 12 years as an educator in elementary education from kindergarten through 12th grades. She is certified in educational and instructional leadership, ESOL, and reading. Her specialization in mentoring and professional learning communities (PLC) among teachers working in Title I schools has helped to meet the needs of students and families in low socioeconomic communities. Devany educates her peers about the importance of understanding challenges in the classroom while building relationships, developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, families, and teachers to understand the social-emotional and academic needs of students. She resides in St. Augustine.

Teresa McCormick, a seventh and eighth grade social science teacher at Valley Ridge Academy has more than 15 years of experience as an educator. She is certified to teach sixth through 12th grade students in social science, U.S. History, geography, reading, gifted programs, and ESOL. Her teaching philosophy focuses on conveying information to students while keeping them involved and entertained. McCormick develops a collaborative learning experience to make each lesson memorable by providing materials with key elements to foster each student’s independent critical thinking, She resides in St. Augustine.

Brianne Seplocha, is a fifth-grade teacher at Picolata Crossing Elementary School with more than 14 years of teaching experience. She is certified to teach elementary education in kindergarten through sixth grades, gifted programs, reading, and ESOL. Her teaching philosophy includes creating an environment for all students to have a safe, motivating learning place, centered around high expectations. Intentional student engagement and practices is the foundation of Seplocha’s classroom methods with students who are presented with a purpose, instruction, and an opportunity to practice newly acquired understandings. Her show what you know review games method with students is based upon a learning community concept. She resides in St. Augustine.

Gomati Sutaria is a fifth-grade teacher at Liberty Pines Academy with more than eight years of experience in elementary education, reading and ESOL. Her degree in Instructional Leadership and Organization Development (ILOD) has equipped Sutaria with the knowledge to serve as a mentor to teachers. She focuses on her training and expertise in classroom management to establish strong connections and relationships with her students. Sutaria provides a consistent and structured classroom with meaningful instruction where students will work hard knowing they are safe, valued, and respected. Sutaria resides in St. Johns.

The St. Johns County District Teacher of the Year will be considered as a candidate for the Florida Teacher of the Year program. Additionally, the St. Johns County Rookie Teacher of the Year will be named at the February 2 event.