Hartman named Teacher of the Month

Felicia Solazzo, Staff Writer

English and drama teacher Jessica Hartman has been voted January’s Teacher of the Month based on a student survey conducted by the Student Government Association during the Jan. 23 home room meeting.

“I was honestly so shocked when they said I was Teacher of the Month,” Hartman said. “I feel honored knowing that so many of the students think so highly of me.  It really validates why I decided to take this career path because nothing makes you feel better than knowing you’re making a difference with your students.”

In May, Hartman will complete her first full year of teaching at West Shore.  Last year she worked at Merritt Island High, teaching only for the second semester.

“I love teaching at West Shore,” Hartman said. “The biggest reason is probably because of the incredible students, but I am also so blessed to have such a supportive, welcoming faculty and administration who have made me feel right at home here.”

Middle School SGA organized the Teacher of the Month program two years ago, but let it lapse last year, so High School SGA decided to reinstate the process on a regular basis.

“[Teacher of the Month] is a way for teachers to be recognized for what they do for students. It is a way for students to show their appreciation for teachers that go out of their way to make coming to school enjoyable and a good experience through learning,” SGA sponsor, Robert Sarver, said. “It may only be a small certificate, and one day, but I think it means a lot for teachers to be recognized by the students as they [the students] are the people that really matter here.”

The process also keeps SGA members, of all grade levels, involved in some activity. Sarver said he hopes that by planning and carrying out projects within a group of multiple people, students will be able to face bigger tasks in the future.

“I think that you will see various grade levels within SGA planning and carrying out projects during the second semester,” he said. “This will be good for the ongoing nature of SGA as 80 percent of the current members will be returning next year and have some idea how to get things accomplished.”