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Mariner High’s Frank named teacher of the year

By Staff | Feb 17, 2010

A Mariner High School visual arts teacher has been named the 2010 Lee County Teacher of the Year.
Seven teachers from across the county were being considered for the recognition, but Wednesday morning a group of district staff, school board members and the superintendent surprised Stephan Frank in his classroom.
Frank has been a visual arts teacher in the Lee County School District for the last 29 years and has worked at Mariner High for 21 years.
Debra Horn, a teacher at Cape Elementary, was the only other Cape Coral nominee for this year’s award.
He said his teaching philosophy is to show children how the lessons they learn relate to the world around them.
“One of the byproducts of me visiting some of the top high schools in the nation and with Lee County moving to such high-tech hardware and software, has truly allowed us to take down the walls of the classroom and bring the world inside the classroom,” said Frank.
The classes that he teaches at Mariner High deal with creative and digital photography, computer art, the use of Photoshop and lightrooms. He also teaches advanced placement and portfolio classes.
Besides teaching, Frank also serves on the board of directors for the high school’s new Math, Science and Technology Academy and he has assisted with writing curriculum at the state level. He also serves as Web master for both of Mariner High’s Web sites.
“I don’t say no to pretty much anything,” he said. “It’s one of those things where I love being involved.”
During lessons he tells his students to never stop learning because they won’t learn everything they need to know in one class.
“Sometimes I can step back and be a spectator and watch the knowledge they want to gain,” said Frank. “The amazing artwork we produce has been my true award.”
As teacher of the year he receives a number of donated gifts, including two tickets to an event at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, a $50 gift certificate to The Veranda, a photo session with Bryn-Alan Photography Studio, chocolates from Norman Love Confections and a 14K gold lapel pin designed specifically for teacher of the year by Christine Jewelry By Design.
“It’s like a whirlwind, today is just wild,” said Frank. “I am deeply honored and I’ve always been a quiet leader and let my product speak for itself.”
District officials will also submit him into the running for Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year. Frank said they will videotape one of his lessons and send a short biography to the state.