ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL — Fashioned after a red-carpet celebration, the three St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) Teacher of the Year Finalists were announced today and supported with a backdrop of cheers from the surprised candidates’ students and colleagues. Makeda-Ione Brome (Fort Pierce Westwood High School), Cheri V. Maxon (Southern Oaks Middle School), and Jami Williams (St. Lucie West K-8 School) were overjoyed as a throng of delegates from St. Lucie’s Education Foundation, School Board, and MIDFLORIDA Credit Union showered them with congratulations.

SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said, “This is a great honor, and our teacher-of-the-year finalists represent a dedicated and highly qualified team of teachers who impact the lives and learning of each child, every day. Their dedication and their relentless passion to support the goals and dreams of our future innovators and creators are evidenced by the School District’s continual growth in academic excellence. We are a B rated district with no failing schools, our graduation rates are among the top ten in Florida, we rank third in academic achievement, and our students have access to thriving career and technical opportunities with 37 academies and 67 programs that have led to 2,390 Industry Certifications in the past year alone.”

Locally, one of the three finalists will be selected as the SLPS Teacher of the Year during the Night of the Stars gala scheduled for February 9, 2019, at Lincoln Park Academy’s auditorium in Fort Pierce. This person will then represent SLPS in the Florida Department of Education – Macy’s Teacher of the Year program.

The local Night of the Stars annual event is sponsored by the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County. Thom Jones, president of the Foundation, explained that MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is the sponsor of the local Teacher of the Year category. “This is an especially exciting year. Through our generous sponsor, we have been able to go above and beyond expectations, and we will honor our winners with very special recognitions this year.”

The State’s Teacher of the Year Program is a long-standing tradition that recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. The State finalist for The Florida Teacher of the Year also serves as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education and represents the Florida Department of Education and teachers throughout Florida.

About the Teacher of the Year Finalists

Makeda-Ione Brome

Makeda-Ione Brome is an instructional mathematics coach at Fort Pierce Westwood High School where she dedicates herself to supporting teachers and students. She models best practices in classrooms, leads collaborative planning sessions, tutors students, and leads Algebra 1 and Geometry Boot Camps for students before and after school.

Her expertise in a wide array of mathematics practices and keen ability to share this knowledge with others makes this energetic educator a leader among her peers. At the District, Ms. Brome is a Teacher Leader who stands out as professional development facilitator, and at the State level, she is a Florida Department of Education Math Content Specialist selected to review and revise Florida’s certification and professional exams.

In the classrooms and throughout the campus, Ms. Brome gets her inspiration from her students and her colleagues. Everything she does is because she wants to serve others and see them experience success in all aspects of their lives. She takes to heart the fact that students must learn and retain required mathematics to be successful in the next course, in college, and beyond. She believes that students cannot be successful without first empowering teachers to be successful. Therefore, she uses a variety of teaching styles and instructional tools to help others learn new concepts. She is inspired to be the best she can be so that she, in turn, can help others realize the potential within them to become the best versions of themselves.

Cheri V. Maxon

Cheri V. Maxon is a sixth-grade science teacher at Southern Oaks Middle School where she also serves as the department chair and lead teacher who mentors others to support a collaborative teaching and learning environment. Her students consistently perform at high levels and thrive in the challenging, engaging, and nurturing learning environment she sets for them.

Mrs. Maxon spearheads the school’s student-led conference initiative whereby she coordinates and helps over 900 students establish, monitor, and communicate goals to promote visible learning and student ownership of achievement. She strongly believes that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Therefore, she is committed to building trust and rapport with students, colleagues, and parents in her many roles as a teacher, leadership mentor, PBIS coach, and professional development facilitator.

Mrs. Maxon is honored to serve children and is a teacher today because of the many educators in her life who believed in her abilities and supported her when she did not believe in herself. She was inspired to pay it forward, to positively impact lives, to make a difference for children in the same way others did for her.

Jami Williams

Jami Williams is an eighth-grade science teacher at St. Lucie West K-8 School. She is passionate about helping every student succeed and celebrating their accomplishments along the way to realizing their goals. She is a campus leader who welcomes new opportunities to serve which include being a team leader, peer mentor, faculty council representative, and volleyball coach.

Her active involvement in campus activities is reflected in her classroom as well. She encourages the love of science by promoting curiosity among her students, by providing hands-on opportunities to question why, and by designing lessons whereby students discover and are excited to learn more. Ms. Williams is dedicated to creating a classroom experience for her students that is safe, trusted, and nurturing. She wants every day to be one in which learning is strengthened by joy.

Her students are her true inspiration. She strives to ignite their interests, empower them with knowledge, and leave a lasting impression that will positively impact them as well as the world around them.

About St. Lucie Public Schools

St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) proudly serves students with a graduation rate of 91.8 percent. As a B rated District, there are no failing schools, and SLPS ranks among the top one-third of Florida’s districts for student achievement. The District also has the distinction of being recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. Connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/stlucieschools), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/st-lucie-public-schools), and Twitter (twitter.com/1SLPS), or visit www.stlucieschools.org.

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