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Teacher at Girls Preparatory Academy at Ferrell Middle is named Florida’s most inspirational teacher by Sanford Programs at National University

November 29, 2018 - Employee Excellence

Congratulations to Jennifer Apgar, a teacher at Girls Preparatory Academy at Ferrell Middle Magnet School. Ms. Apgar has been selected as the most inspirational teacher in Florida as part of the nationwide Sanford Teacher Awards from National University System’s Sanford Programs.

As a 2018 Sanford Teacher Award recipient, Ms. Apgar is part of an esteemed group of 51 inspiring teachers representing each state and the District of Columbia and will receive $10,000.

She is also in the running for the grand prize of $50,000 and the title of the nation’s most inspirational teacher, which will be announced in January 2019.

The award is being offered in honor of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, the visionary behind the Sanford Programs that are based out of the National University System, a network of private, nonprofit pre-college and higher education institutions, and designed to help teachers create inspiring and collaborative classrooms. The programs include PreK-6 Sanford Harmony, a social emotional learning program, and PreK-12 Sanford Inspire, which offers resources to teachers to help them create inspiring classroom experiences.

Ms. Apgar is celebrating her 26th year teaching in Hillsborough Schools. She teaches math to 8th graders at Girls Preparatory Academy at Ferrell Middle Magnet school, which empowers girls in Hillsborough to excel in rigorous academics and character education while fostering them to be positive forces in the global community.

“I love mathematics, and I want my students to find success doing math, and learn to love it as much as I do. I often say "time flies when you're having fun doing math",” said Apgar.

She is also the school’s Mathematics Subject Area Leader. In her classes, students celebrate and learn from their mistakes, and they understand that mistakes are necessary for deeper understanding.  

The Sanford Teacher Award is based on the following characteristics of inspiring teaching: enthusiasm for teaching; empathy and warmth towards all students; fosters positive relationships with all students; creates a positive learning environment; and recognizes student strengths.

“I am honored to win an award that celebrates enthusiasm for teaching and a positive learning environment, because I strongly believe these components are the foundation to build student achievement,” said Apgar.

Ms. Apgar, thank you for demonstrating all of these qualities and for all that you do for your students, and thank you to Girls Preparatory Academy at Ferrell Middle Magnet School for creating a school culture full of inspirational teachers!

To learn more about Ms. Apgar’s award, visit: Sanford Teacher Award page.

To learn more about Ms. Apgar’s school, visit: Girls Preparatory Academy at Ferrell Middle Magnet School.