TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Amos P. Godby High School teacher Althea Valle has been named the 2020-2021 Leon County Schools Teacher of the Year.
She was surprised with the honor by Superintendent Rocky Hanna, joined by other administrative staff members, on Thursday morning.
Valle has been a teacher at Godby for the past nine years and a teacher for 19 years, with 15 of those years spent in Leon County Schools. Currently, she teaches English 1-4 through ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) and Developing Language ESOL classes.
As an immigrant, Valle knows first-hand what it is like to adapt to a different culture and learn a new language.
"I think what brings me the most joy is just seeing my students like 10 years, 15 years down the road," Valle said. "I'm still in touch with kids from my first ESOL class and they're happy, they're fully fluent, they have families, they have jobs. And that brings me a lot of joy."
During her time with LCS, Valle has instituted many multi-cultural events and initiatives aimed at creating authentic learning opportunities to help students build literary and verbal skills in a personalized way.
“It is teachers like Mrs. Valle who inspire our students and fellow educators to achieve their highest potential, particularly during challenging times such as these. I encourage the community to congratulate Mrs. Valle for her accomplishments,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna.
After winning the award, Valle is now eligible to compete in the statewide Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program.
“Mrs. Valle is a shining example for every professional to emulate and her student-first mentality prevails over all else. She works passionately to ensure students are getting everything they need to be successful," Godby High School Principal Desmond Cole said. "Mrs. Valle is an amazing model of consistency, always emitting hope and encouragement to everyone.”
The LCS Teacher of the Year Selection Committee was comprised of district administrators, school principals, and other community members.