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Sanibel teachers named on Golden Apple finalist list

By Staff | Jan 26, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Teacher Joseph Camputaro is one of two educators at The Sanibel School who are finalists for the Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program. The other teacher is Barbara Scarnato.

The Sanibel School announced that out of a public school district with more than 5,000 teachers, two island employees are finalists for the 34th Annual Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program.

“We are very proud of Joseph Camputaro and Barbara Scarnato, who will represent The Sanibel School as our Golden Apple finalists,” Principal Jamie Reid said in a prepared statement. “From this finalist group of 35 outstanding teachers, six teachers will be selected as Golden Apple Teachers this spring.”

Camputaro teaches fifth grade language arts and social studies, and he is known for his innovative approach to teaching and great student rapport. Scarnato teaches all levels of math — from sixth grade through high school algebra — and works diligently with students to enjoy math and make learning gains.

“Both teachers excel at their craft and are dedicated caring educators,” she said.

Teachers are nominated by a student, parent or staff member for the recognition program.

“We look forward to supporting these two outstanding teachers at The Sanibel School,” Reid said.

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools reported that its Golden Apple Selection Committee, made up of community and business leaders, were charged with the arduous task of reviewing and ranking applications to select the finalists. Finalists were then surprised in their classrooms surrounded by students, administrators and fellow educators.

“During this very trying time in our community and throughout the world, there has been an eye-opening recognition of the importance of the teaching profession,” foundation President Marshall T. Bower said. “Teachers have gone above and beyond to make sure they are meeting the needs of our community’s most valuable asset, our students. These 30 Golden Apple finalists are outstanding representatives of all our great teachers.”

The other finalists are: Taylor Ashby of North Fort Myers High, Jamie Ayres of Cape Coral High, Yanet Barrero of North Fort Myers High, Alisa Brown of Hancock Creek Elementary, Dr. Nathan Buehler of Mirror Lakes Elementary, Christy Falk of Allen Park Elementary, Annette Gallipo of Bonita Springs High, Brittany Gonzalez of Tortuga Preserve Elementary, Colt Hartstein of Mariner High, Shelly Hassett of Dr. Carrie D Robinson Elementary, Anne Hester of East Lee County High, Melissa Holland of Tanglewood Elementary, Sarah Jones of Ida S Baker High, Sara Kizzire of Lehigh Senior High, Ashley Koehler of Cape Coral High, Louis Lillard of East Lee County High, Kaisha Louis of Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle, Shelby Massaro of Cypress Lake Middle, Heather Morse of Gulf Middle, Joni Pelletier of Treeline Elementary, Marylin Prysi of Villas Elementary, Jennie Rimes of Fort Myers Middle Academy, Krista Rivera of Gulf Middle, Kristen Santiago of Diplomat Middle, Lori Shaw of Cape Coral High, Trevor Tran of Fort Myers High, Bryan Williams of Mariner High and Dana Windey of Riverdale High.

The foundation reported that the finalists will be personally interviewed and observed in their classrooms by the committee, then six teachers will be selected as the award recipients. The winners will be honored at the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet, a black-tie affair set for April 16 at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater.

The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program was the first major project that the foundation founded and developed for Lee County Public Schools. Since the program’s inception — as a way to enhance public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching — the foundation has awarded 189 educators with the prestigious Golden Apple Teacher Award.