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Sarasota County Educator Named 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist

May 18, 2022

FDOE Press Office

Sarasota County Educator Named 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist

~ Sarasota Middle School’s Jennifer Jaso is one of five finalists vying for the top award ~

Tallahassee, Fla., May 18, 2022 – Today, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) named Jennifer Jaso, a social studies teacher at Sarasota Middle School in Sarasota County, as a finalist for the 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year award. The announcement came during a surprise visit to Sarasota Middle School, with Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Dr. Paul Burns imparting the honor. The Florida Teacher of the Year program recognizes excellence in teaching and celebrates outstanding professional educators in schools across the state. The 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year winner will be announced on July 14 in Orlando.

“My congratulations to Jennifer Jaso for your selection as a 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year finalist,” said Incoming Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Your many accomplishments are commendable, and your classroom instruction is an outstanding representation of high-quality education in our state.”

“Everyone who knows Jennifer Jaso is impressed with the depth of her social studies and historical expertise. But she also manages to connect with her students in a way that’s meaningful to them,” said Sarasota County Superintendent Brennan Asplen.

“There are few who match Jennifer’s content-knowledge expertise, her innate passion for her craft, and her love of, and commitment to, working to educate and improve the lives of children from every background,” said Jennifer Nzeza, principal of Sarasota Middle School.

Jennifer Jaso is a social studies teacher who is highly regarded for her ability to build relationships with students and work with them to develop critical thinking skills amid content knowledge. She holds several leadership roles, including department chair, professional learning community leader and History Day coordinator. Dr. Jaso is a long-standing presenter at the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference and the Florida Council for the Social Studies Conference. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Florida State University, as well as a Doctor of Education from Argosy University.

Five finalists were chosen for 2023 Teacher of the Year from nearly 185,000 public school teachers throughout the state. After each school district selects its teacher of the year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community reviews each district application on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service. The winner will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

In partnership with the Florida Education Foundation, the Florida Teacher of the Year program is made possible by these generous sponsors: Florida Prepaid College?Savings Plans, State Farm Insurance, Florida State University College of Education, Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Education Association, Herff Jones, Publix Super Market Charities, PNC Bank and Florida Power & Light Company.

To learn more about the Florida Teacher of the Year program, please visit Florida Teachers Lead.

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