COLLIER COUNTY — Sean Brosig had a very good start to his weekend.
The North Naples Middle School teacher was named Collier County’s top teacher and a nominee to be Macy’s Teacher of the Year. He was surprised Friday morning by Superintendent Kamela Patton, district and school staff and members of the media during his second period advanced sixth grade math class.
The award, sponsored by Macy’s and the Florida Department of Education, recognizes a teacher from each county in Florida who demonstrates a “superior ability to foster excellence in education and contribute to the continuous improvement of student learning and the school environment.”
A teacher is chosen from every school and a local committee chooses one to be the representative for the entire district.
“This makes me feel incredible,” Brosig said. “I am really happy to share what I do as a teacher. ... And I have the most incredible students”
Christina Brice, 11, said her teacher is pretty incredible, too.
“He gives us fun ways to remember things,” she said. “He has wonderful humor.”
Students eagerly talked about how Brosig tells them, “May the force be with you,” before they take tests and how he hangs a tie in his room for each day they are in class. He has over 200 ties so he can wear a new one each day. He uses the ties to teach students probability.
“He makes math fun,” said Konnor Stone, 11. “He’s funny and he makes you feel calm.”
Brosig said he decided to become a teacher after helping a fellow student in algebra when he was in ninth grade.
“I was able to help somebody out and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
North Naples Middle School Principal Margaret Jackson said Brosig has a way of working with all levels of students to make them understand the math concepts they need. She praised his use of centers — where kids work in smaller groups — to help them grasp math concepts.
“He has encouraged the other math teachers to do the same thing,” Jackson said. “He works with a new teacher and a teacher who came to us from elementary school. He didn’t have to do that, but he wanted to help them.”
Jackson said Brosig is analytical and breaks down his student’s scores on tests to figure out how to help them succeed.
“He really is a good teacher,” she said.
Brosig has been a teacher at North Naples Middle School since 2010 and taught at Golden Gate Elementary School between 2007 and 2010. He was a teacher in Maryland before coming to Collier County.
Brosig was a 2011 recipient of the Golden Apple Award and received a highly effective teacher rating by the district.
His award advances him to the 2014 Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year Competition. That winner will be announced in July.
But Brosig was not the only district employee honored Friday. Five other employees were recognized as employees of the year. They are:
■ Julie Bolock of Pelican Marsh Elementary School was named Collier’s elementary school teacher of the year. She is a fifth grade teacher and a 2004 Golden Apple recipient.
■ Stephanie Scott of Pine Ridge Middle School was named Collier’s middle school teacher of the year. She is a sixth and eighth grade math and intensive math teacher.
■ Donna Lang of Lorenzo Walker Technical High School is the Collier’s high school teacher of the year. She is an exceptional student education inclusion teacher.
■ Mary Crowley of Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology is Collier’s post-secondary teacher of the year. She is a licensed practical nursing third year instructor.
■ Sharon Rickner of Big Cypress Elementary School is Collier’s Florida school-related employee of the year. She is a nutrition services employee and school volunteer.
The six employees will be officially recognized at the May 14 school bard meeting. The teachers will also be recognized at the Champions for Learning Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program on May 10.