Math teacher gets top county honor
By Times staff writer
BROOKSVILLE -- Ray Pinder of West Hernando Middle School on Saturday became the first middle school teacher to receive Hernando County Teacher of the Year honors.
A seventh-grade mathematics teacher since 2000, Pinder, 32, taught West Hernando's at-risk students for seven years.
"He provides an atmosphere that promotes success," wrote the middle school's teacher of the year committee of Pinder. "He understands that not all students learn through the same methods, so he uses a variety of activities so that he can best reach every student."
Pinder has a degree in social science education from the University of South Florida and a master's in education leadership from Saint Leo University.
Besides his teaching duties, he coordinates West Hernando's math department, serves as academic coordinator for the school's FCAT education committee and participates as a member of the school's presentation team at the annual international Model Schools Conference in Washington, D.C.
Pinder was inducted as county Teacher of the Year during a banquet Saturday night sponsored by the Hernando County Education Foundation.
Other finalists included: Theodora Black, Westside Elementary School; Calvin Brown, STAR Education Center; Mary Dysart, Central High School; Leonette Ehlenbeck, Brooksville Elementary School; Sally Lyman, Chocachatti Elementary School; Denise Menchaca, Eastside Elementary School; Suzanne Bates-Miranda, Powell Middle School; Donna Mitchell, Deltona Elementary School; Sherrie Raymond, J.D. Floyd Elementary School; Refugia Saenz, Pine Grove Elementary School; Latreetha Sharpley, Parrott Middle School; Lorianne Sim, Hernando High School; Don Wilcox, Springstead High School; Judy Stevenson, Moton Elementary School; Barbara Weiss, Fox Chapel Middle School; Heather Zielinski, Suncoast Elementary School; and Jennifer Zito, Spring Hill Elementary School.
For the first time, a middle school teacher is named Hernando County's Teacher
of the Year.
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