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Potter's Head Start Teacher honored as Florida’s and Southeast Region's Teacher of the Year

October 16, 2018 - Employee Excellence

*February 2019 update: Ms. Herdon was named and honored as the Region IV Head Start Association's Teacher of the Year.

Loren Herndon loves children – and it shows. She has dedicated the past 16 years of her career working as a Head Start Teacher at Potter Elementary School. Right now, she’s focused on teaching four-year-olds.

State leaders are also taking notice of her commitment to kids – awarding her with top state honors: Florida Head Start Association’s Teacher of the Year.

“This is a huge honor for Ms. Herndon to be recognized by the state – an honor she definitely deserves,” said Potter Elementary School Principal Sharon Waite. “She is a dedicated member of our team who teaches our kids with great passion each and every day.  All of us at Potter are so proud of her! We are grateful for the strong foundation that she provides our Eagles to prepare them for life.”

During her time at Potter, Ms. Herndon has implemented a program called Empowering Effective Teachers. As the team leader for Head Start, she routinely conducts data chats in which education teams look at data to make instructional decisions based on specific needs and information.

Ms. Herndon created a test to evaluate Head Start students’ progress that was selected as the preferred assessment used to measure growth throughout the academic year.

Colleagues from across our district have offered praise and positive feedback on the use of the assessment tool.

Ms. Herndon continues to learn in her role by scheduling conferences with members of the school resource team, such as the reading coach, to model lessons and create collaborative connections. Through these activities, she has helped students improve their key reading skills through phonics and recognition of printed words.

As a member of the Positive Behavior Support team, she supports Potter’s school-wide positive behavior program. According to Ms. Herndon, “I joined the PBS team because of my belief in modifying negative behaviors by rewarding desired behaviors.”

She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood and Curriculum, holds certification in Pre-K through third grade and is a National Board-Certified teacher.

Ms. Herndon is seen as a true leader and learner in her field.

She will be honored during the Florida Head Start Association’s annual awards luncheon at the end of the month in West Palm Beach and is attended by Head Start/Early Head Start directors, staff, parents and early childhood education leaders.

Ms. Herndon will now represent Florida to be considered for the Region IV Head Start Association Teacher of the Year Award along with state winners from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Florida Head Start Association is a nonprofit organization working on behalf of the 41,000 children and families Head Start Programs serve in Florida.

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