Teacher of the Year

Katherine+Jucker+receives+recognition+as+a+Seminole+County+high+school+semifinalist+for+Teacher+of+the+Year.+Representatives+from+the+county+rewarded+her+for+her+hard+work+and+commitment.+
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Teacher of the Year

Katherine Jucker receives recognition as a Seminole County high school semifinalist for Teacher of the Year. Representatives from the county rewarded her for her hard work and commitment.

Katherine Jucker receives recognition as a Seminole County high school semifinalist for Teacher of the Year. Representatives from the county rewarded her for her hard work and commitment.

Photo provided by: Lake Brantley Twitter

Katherine Jucker receives recognition as a Seminole County high school semifinalist for Teacher of the Year. Representatives from the county rewarded her for her hard work and commitment.

Photo provided by: Lake Brantley Twitter

Photo provided by: Lake Brantley Twitter

Katherine Jucker receives recognition as a Seminole County high school semifinalist for Teacher of the Year. Representatives from the county rewarded her for her hard work and commitment.

Joelle Wittig, News Editor

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During Katherine Jucker’s freshman year of college if she was prompted with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” she would have confidently answered “A lawyer.” However, after being inspired by the discussions and analysis of her required college English classes, Jucker’s career plan took a sharp turn; she decided to further her English studies with the hopes of becoming a high school English teacher. Now, after over 25 years of teaching, Jucker can proudly call herself the Teacher of the Year.

Following the nomination by her fellow teachers for the school-wide competition which named her Lake Brantley’s Teacher of the Year, Jucker completed a series of essays regarding her teaching philosophies and put together a portfolio to compete with teachers throughout the county. The district committee came together to select 12 teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools to compete in the county semi-finalists. Once a semi-finalist, she was observed and judged by the committee and was then chosen to be recognized as the High School Teacher of the Year and from there she moved up to the state level.

“I think when I wrote the essays I was really genuine about it and my passion for teaching really came through,” Jucker said. “I really do love what I do. I’m really fortunate, I feel very lucky about what I do. When they came in to tell me I was a semi-finalist, [I was] totally floored, that was like ‘No way.’”

Jucker taught freshman English and AP Literature and Composition and devoted all her time at the school to excelling in these subjects. As her own kids began getting involved in sports and other extracurriculars, Jucker realized she did not have time to involve in school programs outside of teaching because she did not want to miss out on the lives of her children. However, she did not stop helping her students grow through her interactive teaching and genuine compassion in the classroom.

“Mrs. Jucker has helped me grow as a student immensely through my writing styles and focusing on skills I could improve on for things, such as essays, that are important for college,” senior Caelyn Cochran said. “As a person, she has taught me to be more open minded and to see different perspectives on issues. She always manages to be positive and always makes her students’ days better. She is always helpful and truly someone to look up to for more than just schoolwork.”

Jucker involved her students through class discussions and collaborations in her classroom. She taught primarily through hands-on learning and group work to involve the students in the topic and relate it to each student individually.

“She’s a teacher that goes above and beyond,” Assistant Principal Colleen Windt said. “She is beyond dedicated, she has an excellent rapport with her students, great relationships and bonds with her kids. She does a blended learning, personalizes the learning for her students, and she does a lot of technology. She’s the real deal, she’s a great teacher.”

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