by Anna Labiner
Asst. Entertainment Editor
Showing 8 and 9-year-olds how to sing and dance during “Third Grade Rocks” and organizing a paper-mache project all while teaching cursive might intimidate most people, but third-grade teacher Suzi Shea has proved that she is up to the task. Her commitment and genuine passion have made her a truly unique teacher. Beginning her career at Pine View in 1990, Shea said she has become extremely close to the third-grade staff, and will fondly remember the experiences and memories she has gained throughout the years.
Before working at Pine View, Shea attended Florida State University (FSU) and proceeded to earn her gifted endorsement from Saint Leo University. After previously working with the gifted students at Wilkinson Elementary School for one year, and Fruitville Elementary School for three years, she then began at Pine View’s old campus teaching second grade.
Shea knew that she wanted to teach after having some bad experiences during her childhood at school, deciding that she didn’t want any other child to feel the way that she had. Eventually, Shea recalls having a very influential teacher, a teacher who showed her how great school can be. According to Shea, one of her biggest regrets has been not calling her second grade teacher and explaining to her that she inspired Shea herself to teach.
“I am never happier than when I’m in my classroom teaching these kids. I live, breathe, and die this job. I love the kids, and I love forming relationships with them and getting to see them go all the way through high school,” Shea said.
Additionally, Shea has grown very close to her fellow staff at Pine View through projects like the third-grade sleepover and “Third Grade Rocks.” “I love the way that my team works together to pull off these projects and create hands-on things for the students,” Shea said.
This supportive staff also helped her get through the loss of her son, ultimately motivating her to come back to teaching. Subsequently, Shea developed “Stop the Code of Silence,” which is a program she started six years ago in which she speaks to high school students about her experiences with the foster care system and the abuse of drugs. The message of the presentation is to speak out when someone you know is endangering themselves or other people, as well as to understand the difference between tattling and telling. In her retirement, Shea hopes to build off this idea by trying to land a job as an educational advocate for foster children at a new foster home, considering she has experienced first hand how poorly her own foster children were treated in the system.
“She contributed like an anchor. She’s been here a long time, she knows how the school has changed and progressed, and she keeps us together like the links of an anchor,” fellow third grade teacher Dr. Vicky Singleton said. The two have been working together for 15 years.
Shea has lived in Sarasota all her life, and her connection to the community is one that will last a lifetime. Her dedication and enthusiasm for her work are what make her such a remarkable teacher and coworker. “Mrs. Shea is very nice and exciting, and she’s fun with all her activities,” third-grader Clover Murphy said.
Shea’s bond with the students and staff have ensured that she will leave a legacy at Pine View not only as a teacher, but also as a friend.
by Rehana Qudir
After nearly ten years of dedication and hard work toward her teaching career, middle school science teacher Beverly Templeton is leaving Pine View to explore new corners of the world. Templeton was initially a Pine View parent and is finishing off as an influential teacher who will be remembered by the people she taught and worked with.
With her love of science, Templeton went to Wellesley College, a women’s college in Boston, Mass. Her fondness of the environment encouraged her to take environmental science classes, and she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology. However, Templeton did not begin her science career in teaching, but she instead became a prominent part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for several years. It was only after she was introduced to the idea of teaching from one of her friends that she realized she would love to teach children about science. She began teaching seventh graders at Heron Creek Middle School followed by Sarasota Middle School.
After joining the Pine View staff in 2008, Templeton not only taught sixth-grade science, but also worked hard to promote sustainability on campus by helping studentsbecome more informed about the environment with her G3 club. “This year, I am learning the ropes of G3 from her and find that her passion for those causes is contagious,” fellow seventh-grade science teacher Hali Flahavan said.
Along with help from students, teachers and parents, Templeton’s work with sustainability at Pine View helped honor the school by becoming acknowledged as a Department of Education Green Ribbon School. This award is given to schools that demonstrate that they are healthy and environmentally sustainable.
Many of her current and former students recounted Templeton’s kind and passionate demeanor. Along with teaching what she loves, Templeton has enjoyed watching her students excel, grow and apply life science to the real world. “She has a cheerful personality and was helpful to everyone,” eighth-grader Sarah Hassan said.
With her retirement, Templeton plans on spending time with her children, taking it easy and traveling to places like Iceland, and the Baha and Yucatan Peninsulas. When asked what her words to the teacher who follows after her would be she said, “Enjoy your students and always see the best. Come from a loving heart.”
by Sid Sharma
Known to be one of the most enthusiastic and open teachers here at Pine View, middle school English teacher Jack Francis has, in his five years here, left an impression on his students. Feeling it was time for a new challenge and a new environment, Francis made his leaving date official in March after being offered the opportunity to teach at another Sarasota County school, Sarasota Suncoast Academy (SSA).
Born and raised in Florida, Francis grew up with both his parents being passionate teachers. Francis knew he would eventually become a teacher, it was only a matter of when. “I always thought I was good at teaching, and interacting with kids in general,” he said. Francis eventually attended the University of South Florida for four years, where he would earn his teaching degree.
Francis has spent his years at Pine View teaching Language Arts and Civics for seventh grade, and strives to help his students. “I really do love my students, the days go by quickly, and I never dread going to work,” he said. “[We] always have interesting discussions. I always loved the back and forth the students and I have. I mean I had the best kids you could want.”
In the future, Francis hopes to incorporate a similar teaching style to that which he had at Pine View to SSA. Francis is very excited for this new adventure, and he said the main reason was he wanted to teach with his wife, who is already a teacher at SSA. “I really hate to leave, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” Francis said.
When asked what his favorite Pine View memory was, Francis said it was when the current seventh-grade class threw him a surprise birthday party. “It was so thoughtful of them,” he said. “I’ve never had a class do that for me before.”
Francis’ former students remember him as a teacher who remained open-minded in his ways of teaching and aided students in their learning process.
“He was flexible in his methods of teaching and tailored it to whatever would help his students be most successful,” eighth-grader Blake Lechiter, said. “He was one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had.”
by Anna Labiner
Asst. Entertainment Editor
After years of devotion, hard work and service, longtime aide Sally Tyler will be retiring at the end of this year. Tyler has been working at Pine View for 22 years, starting as a monitorial aide and eventually working her way up to a paraprofessional and a teacher’s aide. Tyler has become a fundamental member of Pine View’s staff and will be missed by students and teachers alike.
Tyler began working at Pine View in 1996 after her daughter enrolled in the school. After a few weeks working at Pine View, she fell in love with the school, especially the students. “I’ve enjoyed the kids over the years and watching them grow up…they’re like your own children,” she said. “Kids can be very ‘huggy’ but then they get their friends, so they kind of shy away from you for a while, and then as they get older, they come back, so, it’s very reminiscent.”
Tyler has loved working with students, saying that talking to them is like having a conversation with “mini adults.” One of her favorite experiences has been receiving a hand-made book about herself from a second-grader last year. Tyler has also enjoyed the opportunity to work both inside and outside, because she could not see herself as a person who sits in an office all day.
“Sally is an amazing addition to the Pine View staff. Kids at car loop lined up to talk to her,” ninth-grader Keleigh Koeniger said. “I know she will be missed by many.”
Tyler says she will miss her relationship with students the most because of her meaningful connection with them; but, she is excited to start the next chapter in her life. She says that she has traveled some, but still has many places to visit on her bucket list, like Japan, Iceland, South America and a safari tour. Along with traveling, Tyler has a green thumb, and is on track to becoming a master gardener, calling herself a “plant addict.”
She will also try to keep her mind sharp by doing things like learning a new language and playing the piano.
Tyler’s final message to staff and students is to keep the traditions of Pine View alive. Her enthusiasm and commitment to her job and to students is what makes Tyler so unique, and her presence will be missed next year. Tyler says that she will visit, and is looking forward to keeping up with students.
“Sally is always ready to help out a student, or a fellow staff member, and she’s very kind. We’re all going to miss her very much,” volunteer office worker Heidi Bodor said.
“I’ve been at Pine View for seven years, and I can’t think of a time when Ms. Sally wasn’t there to offer a positive attitude and enthusiasm,” eleventh-grader Justin Fischer said. “She is such a wonderful person, and I’m sure that where ever she ends up, she will make everyone around her smile. That’s just who she is.”