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Four substitute teachers awarded Silver Apples

By Staff | May 13, 2010

Four substitute teachers in Lee County were awarded Silver Apples for going above and beyond what is expected of them.
Employees from one of the district’s 106 schools submitted nominations for what they consider exemplary substitutes. Later, a selections committee consisting of three teachers, three administrators and three substitutes narrowed down the list to four winners.
Recipients for 2009-2010 are Patti Lockner, an elementary substitute; Anne Sloan, a middle school substitute; Abby Marchand, a high school substitute; and Nicholas Frasche, a substitute who works with special needs students.
The Silver Apples are presented by the Lee County Association of Substitute Teachers, an organization which helps represent and train substitutes across the district.
Marvin Goetz, president of the association, said the four winners are going to be honored at the next meeting of the Lee County School Board on May 18.
Recipients will receive their own personalized Silver Apples at the substitute association’s annual orientation Aug. 19. It will be hosted at Island Coast High from 8-9 a.m. and Goetz said Superintendent James Browder and members of the school board will attend, as well as experts in the field of substitute teaching.
He said between 300 and 500 substitutes attend the orientation each year.
Silver Apple winners not only represent different grade levels in the public school system, but also regions throughout Lee County.
Sloan, 56, has substituted at Trafalgar Middle since 1998. She started working as a substitute at Gulf Elementary in 1993 but moved to the middle school as her own children got older.
Former Gulf Elementary Principal Martin Mesch had suggested Sloan substitute when he noticed how involved she was in the school.
Over the years she has substituted for every subject, ranging from math or language arts to home economics and art. Most of her work is decided on a daily basis, but she does receive the occasional long-term or open-ended position.
Currently, she is working as a long-term substitute at Trafalgar Middle for another teacher on maternity leave.
Sloan never found out who nominated her for the Silver Apple, but working at the school all these years has let her get to know other teachers personally. Before covering a class, she typically takes the time to view the lesson plan or research the topic, and she stays as late as 7 each night grading papers.
“If I find something I’m not familiar with, I research it or read the chapter, so I very quickly become an expert,” she said. “I want to feel like I’m teaching them something and not just filling in.”
Teaching or substituting at the middle school level is challenging, but Sloan said she has found her own educational niche.
“I just really like it and I think this middle school is my niche,” she said. “I can be stern but at the same time you have to have a sense of humor. I like to inspire them to do better.”
She said Trafalgar Middle is an excellent school because of the teachers and administration who work together with the substitutes.
For more information on the substitute association, visit www.lcapst.org.