Sarasota County teachers honored by foundation

ABC7 News at 5pm
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:03 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:51 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A music teacher in Venice and a Sarasota physical education teacher have been honored for their work and dedication by the Educational Foundation of Sarasota County.

Timothy Ferguson, a music teacher at Garden Elementary School in Venice, was named the 2023 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year. Amber Rylak, a physical education teacher at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, was recognized as the Innovation Teacher of the Year.

Ferguson, who has taught music for 20 years in New York and Florida, will represent district teachers throughout the 2023 calendar year and serve as the Sarasota County Schools nominee for state Teacher of the Year.

Rylak’s award honors teachers who use new, exciting lessons and strategies to meet their students’ unique needs and prepare them for the 21st century.

“It’s so important for us to show appreciation for our teachers and all of their hard work,” commented Chris Renouf, acting superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Our educators pave the way for their students’ current and future success through their compassion, expertise, and genuine love of teaching and learning.”

Ferguson received a $5,000 cash award. Rylak, along with Teacher of the Year finalists Joseph Conner of Venice Middle School and Courtney Smith of Booker High School, received $2,500 each.

All 41 Teacher of the Year Award recipients representing schools across the district were honored at a ceremony Jan. 18.