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2023-24 District Teacher and Employee of the Year Named

2023-24 District Teacher and Employee of the Year Named

Flagler Schools held its annual Teacher, Employee, and Rookie Teacher of the Year Gala Wednesday night, January 24th, at the Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center at Flagler Auditorium. 

It was a lively event, titled A Night of Legends, was highlighted with a parade of finalists. The district took time to honor Matanzas High School's Sara Novak as Assistant Principal of the Year and Jessica DeFord, Belle Terre Elementary School's Principal of the Year, who had been announced last fall.

The hundreds of family, friends, students, and colleagues in attendance watched highlight videos of all the Employees and Teachers of the Year finalists before Superintendent LaShakia Moore was given the envelopes containing the names of our District Employee and Teacher of the Year. 

Jimmy Sorrentino, Buddy Taylor Middle School's campus advisor/security and a coach, was named District Employee of the Year. He has been honored for his work as a coach in Flagler and St. Johns counties. Though this is only his second year with Flagler Schools, he has already made a significant impact. On being named Flagler Schools 2023-24 Employee of the Year, Sorrentino said, "It was such a blessing. The feeling is overwhelming. The idea of representing Flagler Schools and this county is an honor. I take it seriously. I’m beside myself knowing I can represent the district."  He added, "I’m here to teach kids respect and common sense. We went from (the school) with one of the worst behaviors to one the best-behaved. I try to help teachers on how to deal with kids."

Allison Kucharski, a second-grade teacher at Rymfire Elementary School, was named the District Teacher of the Year. Kucharski has been working at RES since 2006, starting out as a kindergarten teacher. She has been teaching second graders at Rymfire since 2017. Previously, she was a substitute teacher and early childhood educator in St. Johns County. The ever-humble Kucharski said of her Teacher of the Year designation, "I am sincerely honored by the prestigious recognition of being named Flagler County Schools Teacher of the Year. I would also like to congratulate all Flagler nominees. I could not help but feel gratitude to all who have inspired me over my career. I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to represent Flagler County and collaborate with teachers across the state."

Sorrentino and Kucharski will now represent Flagler Schools for the statewide honors. Flagler Schools wishes them the best of luck as they move forward through that process.

If you missed the event in person, you can watch a highlights reel of the 2024 Gala on the Flagler Schools YouTube Channel

Five adults on a stage with plaques and bouquet
Close up of woman with bouquet and plaque on stage
Adults on stage with bouquet
Two adults and a child standing onstage with plaque and bouquet
sign of Sara Novak AP of the Year
Two adults standing with plaque and bouquet of flowers
Adults on stage smiling and hold bouquet
Group of adults standing on stage with plaques
Adults standing onstage with plaques
Adults standing with plaques
Group of adults on stage with plaques
Group of adults holding plaques on stage
Group of adults holding plaques onstage
Two adults holding plaque on stage
Adults onstage with sign of Teacher of the Year behind them
Woman on knee scooter making entrance with principal
Five adults on stage standing
Two adults holding a plaque on stage
Audience cheering and waving hands