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Key West High School Home to Monroe County Schools 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year

 MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Monroe County School Officials are pleased to announce Key West High School’s, Jessica Wood as the 2018-2019 District Teacher of the Year. A committee of her peers chose Mrs. Wood out of 11 teachers to represent Monroe County Schools as the district’s Teacher of the Year nomination for the Florida Department of Education’s state recognition.

Mrs. Wood teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Biology at Key West High School.  Committee participants cited her academic achievement in a learning rich environment while contributing to her school and community as the reasons for her selection. 

Superintendent Mark Porter said Mrs. Wood’s passion for teaching is truly reflected in her students’ passion for learning. “Each year it is my privilege to recognize one of the outstanding teachers in the Monroe County Schools and each year I am amazed at the qualities of the individuals we recognize.  Jessica Wood is a deserving recipient of this recognition.  Her commitment to STEM academic advancement, participation in service programs, and leadership roles she fills as a teacher at Key West High School are truly exemplary.”

She was instrumental in beginning the AP Biology program which has expanded to include a hands-on lab component.  Evidence that demonstrates her success at advancing student learning can be seen in her 3-year average AP Bio pass rate of 78% and a pass rate of 95% in Biology honors.  She contributes her success to her passion for teaching the subject and diligent data based instruction.

Mrs. Wood creates a learning--focused culture in her classroom with high expectations and excellent instruction which includes utilizing new technology programs, hands-on lab activities, center infused instruction and a focus on student engagement.  Jessica is active in her field, constantly working on her own pedagogy and assisting others, both of these are a large part of Jessica’s contributions to the school and district.  She has held numerous professional development trainings at both levels, has been a part of the STEM Fair, is a member of the Building Level Planning Team and is the Science Department Chair. 

As an ESE-certified teacher, she also works with a caseload of students serving as their advocate, monitoring grades and holding student data chats to ensure they are being successful in school.  She has an impact on the entire school by leading the Recycling Club efforts and on the community by as a sponsor for Keys to Be the Change, a school club that focuses on developing student character through service.  She works with outside agencies to have members read to younger students and also promotes substance abuse prevention outreach. 

Mrs. Wood stated that the main thing that inspires her as an educator is the ability to effect positive change on others by being a role model and to continue being a learner herself. 

Her principal, Amber Archer Acevedo, said, “Jessica is a person whose passion for learning is evident in her classroom culture.  Students enjoy learning in an engaging environment that allows them to maximize their strengths.  Walking into her class, you will see hands-on science learning, students working in centers and most of all, a positive culture for learning. She leads the science department with attention to detail in curriculum, getting into classes to provide support and mentoring to new teachers”.

Mrs. Wood will advance as the MCSD candidate for the Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year. As the district’s teacher of the year, she will have access to professional development and networking opportunities with fellow district teachers of the year throughout the state.