A Manatee County school teacher was one of 11 Florida teachers recognized by Gov. Rick Scott for excellent teaching.
The Governor’s Shine Award is given to educators who have made significant contributions to the field of education, but this isn’t the first time Nicholas Leduc has been honored. In 2017, Leduc, a fourth-grade teacher at Braden River Elementary, won the Manatee County Educator of the Year award.
“It’s great to see Florida educators committed to providing every student with the opportunity to get a quality education in our state,” Scott said. “We will continue our work to ensure they have the tools they need to help their students be successful in the classroom.”
The awards were handed out during a Florida Cabinet meeting at the Florida State Fair in Tampa on Thursday.
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When Leduc won his Manatee award last year, his supporters flocked to the announcement toting signs with his face on a stick. His principal, Hayley Rio, said that’s because he goes above and beyond to incorporate families in his teaching.
One of the ways Leduc, who has been teaching for 21 years, achieves this is by hosting “book bashes,” where he invites the parents to read the books that his class will read along with their child. The parents then come to the school during night events to participate and discuss with their children and the rest of the class.
“Parents love it. (Leduc) believes in educating the ‘whole child’ with social skills and full-family involvement,” Rio said.
Leduc also invites families to participate in all sorts of events and activities, including trips to Big Cat Habitat, fishing and scavenger hunts around the school and community. Rio said it’s his way of helping families form bonds with other families.
On top of involving their families every chance he can, Leduc has “powerful engagement” with the students. He works with them to form goals that they set themselves and work toward over the course of the school year.
“The kids make goals, make a plan for those goals and celebrate the goals. It’s the students choosing what they want to know and what they want to get better at.”
Rio said it all comes down to the rapport Leduc works to build with students and families, making sure that everyone involved gives 110 percent.
“He treats his class like a community and stretches the students to give as much as they can,” said Rio. “He’s a master at that.”