Clay County Teacher of the Year, School-related Employee of the Year announced

Zoey Fields

The Clay County Education Foundation in partnership with Clay County District Schools held the annual Apple Awards Thursday evening naming the 2022-2023 teacher of the year and school-related employee of the year.

The awards were held at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park and included live performances from students and presentations from school board members and Superintendent David Broskie. Heather Miller from Lake Asbury Elementary School was named Clay County’s Teacher of the Year and Abegail Rosario-Castillo from Orange Park Elementary was named Clay County’s School-Related Employee of the Year.
The Clay Education Foundation hosted the Apple Awards in partnership with, and to honor teachers of, the Clay County school district.Photo byClay County District Schools

Heather Miller is a fourth-grade teacher that has been teaching for 25 years, Clay County District Schools Communications Coordinator Terri Dennis said.

She serves as a Teacher Model Classroom, a Math Field Day Coach and is a Professional Learning Community leader where she spends time modeling lessons for other teachers, creating assessments and supporting new teachers, Dennis said. Additionally, Miller is the coordinator for Lake Asbury Elementary School’s Robotics Team and Club.

“Students deserve an advocate to facilitate new learning experiences. My hope is to spark an interest, passion, and deep love for a future career in STEM,” Miller said when asked about the importance of school culture and the Robotics Club.
Heather MillerPhoto byClay County District Schools

Abegail (Abby) Rosario-Castillo has been part of Orange Park Elementary since 2007 when she began as a parent volunteer where she earned over 100 hours per year, Dennis said.

In 2016, Rosario-Castillo became the Media Technical Assistant for Orange Park Elementary School. As the Media Technical Assistant, she has made a personal commitment to promoting diverse authors and books with characters who are female or people of color, Dennis said.

“Ms. Rosario-Castillo strives to know the reading habits and preferences of the students and is often asked for recommendations from students, teachers and parents,” Orange Park Elementary Assistant Principal Dr. Suzanne Herndon said. “She is an advocate for our students and works diligently to instill a love of reading in our children.”
Abegail Rosario-CastilloPhoto byClay County District Schools

Both Miller and Rosario-Castillo will move forward in the state selection process as the Florida Department of Education narrows down the county winners to the top-five nominees toward the end of the school year, Dennis said.

Click here to learn more about the Florida Department of Education’s award process.

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Accredited journalist with experience covering a wide range of stories consisting of breaking news, city and county government, crime and courts, feature stories and local interest. Facebook Bulletin writer, reporter; The Learning Curve. Twitter: @zoeyfields0

Jacksonville, FL

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