Miller Middle educator honored by governor with Shine Award

A Miller Middle School math teacher was one of eight teachers recognized by Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday as a recipient of the governor’s Shine Award. 

Vicki Forte began teaching in Putnam County in 2010. She currently teaches sixth- and seventh-grade math at Miller Middle. 

“It’s amazing to be recognized for the work I do,” Forte said. 

The Shine Award recognizes teachers for their commitment to student success — a recognition Forte said she shared with several of her fellow 2016 High Impact teachers. 

Forte said she became a member of the High Impact Teacher Corps as a result of her students’ success on the 2015 Florida Standards Assessments. 

“Her instructional practice and student engagement are very effective, and led to her being one of the high-impact teachers,” Putnam Superintendent Rick Surrency said. “It’s obviously led to her students’ success, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Seventh-grader Skyler Coleman said Forte deserved the Shine Award because she’s always helpful in class.

“She is really awesome,” Skyler said. “She helps us when we need it, and she’s inspiring.”

Forte said she tries to help her students prepare for assessments by breaking down math standards set by the state for their grade, which includes pre-algebra and geometry lessons. She said she teaches test-taking skills and enjoys leading collective class lessons and small work groups. 

“I think it helps them because they have their peers to bounce questions off of,” she said. 

While the Shine Award is Forte’s first personal recognition from the governor, it’s not the first time teaching has earned her a plaque. 

Forte was Miller Middle’s (Miller Intermediate School) Teacher of the Year in 2015. 

“She is a model teacher,” Miller Middle Principal Regina Gilyard-Thomas said. “She is very well-deserving of the governor’s Shine Award.”

Forte credits her success to the support of the Miller Middle administration and the support of her family. And she modestly accepted the award with her students in mind. 

“It’s great to be recognized, but if I wasn’t, I’d still be here doing what I do every day,” she said. “It’s more important for (students) to be successful than it is for me.”

Palatka Daily News

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