Volusia County Schools names Emily Fagerstrom Teacher of the Year
Emily Fagerstrom from Champion Elementary School is Volusia County Schools' 2025 Teacher of the Year. She was selected from 70 nominees representing schools countywide and was one of five finalists for the district award. She will now represent Volusia in the state Teacher of the Year program.
The VCS Teacher of the Year ceremony was co-hosted by FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools and presented by AdventHealth. The event was held Sunday, January 21, 2024, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. Those in attendance included valued partners in education, sponsors, members of our VCS family, and supporters of each of the honorees.
Emily Fagerstrom succeeds Vonda H. Morris, a Probability & Statistics Teacher at Spruce Creek High School, who was selected to be Volusia County's 2024 Teacher of the Year last year.
Emily Fagerstrom is the math instructional coach at Champion Elementary. She has been an educator in Volusia County Schools for 11 years.
“My journey as an educator has been a continuous exploration of ‘Achieving Excellence Together,’ a mantra that encapsulates the essence of my inspiration in this profession,” she said. “Transitioning from the classroom to an instructional coach’s role has opened my eyes to a broader canvas of education. It’s a transformation that fills me with gratitude, as the stakeholders have expanded from my beloved students and parents to now include the dedicated teachers I support.”
Emily Fagerstrom is a leader whose work goes beyond her coaching role at Champion Elementary. She has proudly taken on the role of a Volusia Mentor and serves as the lead mentor at Champion Elementary. In addition, she serves as the co-chair for Champion Elementary’s School Advisory Council (SAC) and is an active member of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Her dedication to enhancing math education has extended beyond her classroom and her school, as she is also a facilitator with Volusia Learns, leading professional development sessions to educate and inspire fellow educators.
“Together, we create learning environments that nurture curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love for learning,” she said.
Superintendent Dr. Balgobin presented special awards along with a $150 check from FUTURES to the following three teachers who embody this year’s district theme of “Achieving Excellence Together”:
• Donna Steinmann, 2nd Grade Teacher, Sweetwater Elementary School
• Evelyn Robinson, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 Honors Teacher, Heritage Middle School
• Dawn Drysdale, Intensive Reading Teacher and Student Learning Success Dual Enrollment Teacher, University High School
Major sponsors of the Teacher of the Year celebration include:
Presenting Sponsor – AdventHealth
Vehicle Sponsor – Daytona Kia and Daytona Mitsubishi
Platinum Sponsor – Florida Health Care Plans and Space Coast Credit Union
Gold Sponsors – Duke Energy, Publix Super Markets Charities, Volusia Sheriff’s Office, and Volusia United Educators (VUE)
Silver Sponsors –Dr. Robert & Candace Lankford and Mainstreet Community Bank of Florida
Bronze Sponsors – JPB Consulting, CPH, Inc., William & Linda Cuthbert, Leonard’s Photography, Susan & Carl Persis, Paul & Dr. Rosaria Upchurch, VASA - Volusia Association of School Administrators, VCCPTA – Volusia County Council of PTAs and Wharton-Smith, Inc.
FUTURES Regent's Club Members – Cobb Cole, Daytona International Speedway, Duke Energy, Florida Health Care Plans, Florida Power & Light Company, Launch Credit Union, and Rue & Ziffra
FUTURES Chancellor's Club Members – Cici & Hyatt Brown, Brown & Brown Insurance, Coloni Family Foundation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Abel Viteri & team at Equitable, Foundation Risk Partners, Grand Canyon University, LPGA, Dr. Michael & Nancy Suah, Synergy Billing, Wharton-Smith, Inc. and Sam & Barbara Willett
In-Kind Sponsors –Dean Stewart Photography, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Herff Jones Co., Jostens Inc., MBI Direct Mail, Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform at Stetson University, ONE DAYTONA, Simply Roses, Wishworks Media and Lodging & Hospitality Association of Volusia County.
Several businesses and organizations in Volusia County also contributed donations of goods and services to Volusia's Teacher of the Year program.
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