SARASOTA (WWSB) - ABC 7 has teamed up with Gettel Automotive once again to recognize a deserving teacher in the Suncoast community. It’s time to meet another Chalkboard Champion. Our winner is Venice High School campus security guard and cross country coach Brenda Clark.
She may not be a traditional teacher, but Brenda Clark has taught some Venice High School students more than they’ve ever learned in a classroom.
“She is just so supportive of us and wants us to be better people,” cross country runner Jennifer Lukowski said.
Lukowski is on the cross country team and looks up to the woman she calls ‘Coach Brenda.’
Coach Brenda is a woman who puts her heart and soul into the team and one that Lukowski says helps the athletes grow into better people, sports aside.
“She trains us and pushes us to be the best that we can," Lukowski said. "Even if we are having an off day, she’s still very supportive of us and just wants us to succeed.”
That’s why Lukowski nominated Coach Brenda for our Chalkboard Champion award.
“Totally blessed,” Coach Brenda described after being surprised at school. “I didn’t see this one coming for sure. The most important thing for me in coaching is to develop good citizens. That’s always first because they’re going to leave here and this is the next generation that will be our next leaders."
Lukowski wants to follow in Coach Brenda footsteps and lead as a cross country coach one day.
“She’s made me come out of my shell and just be more outgoing,” Lukowski said about Coach Brenda. “She is just such an amazing coach and deserves everything.”
With that $500 prize, coach brenda plans on investing back in Lukowski and the rest of the cross country team.
“We will all sit down collectively and see what they want to do,” Coach Brenda said. “Maybe we will look at some special meets that we wouldn’t usually go to. Maybe we can go to one of them or if there is certain gear they want. Or maybe we will just all go play mini-golf. I don’t know!"
We’re looking for our next Chalkboard Champion! If you’d like to nominate a deserving teacher, click here.