Sarasota Middle School's Jaso Named District's 2022 Teacher of the Year

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2022 Teacher of the Year Finalists (l-r): Loridia Urquiza, 2022 High School Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Jaso, 2022 District Teacher of the Year, Shannon Haddad, 2022 Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

Jennifer Jaso, a social studies and critical thinking teacher at Sarasota Middle School, was named the 2022 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year at the annual celebration of educators hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. The Ignite Education awards celebration honoring Sarasota County teachers is a highly anticipated annual event sponsored by the Education Foundation in conjunction with Sarasota County Schools. Event organizers were happy to resume an in-person celebration, held this year at Michael’s on East in Sarasota, after producing the 2021 tribute as a virtual event due to the pandemic. 

In addition, Stephanie Vlahakis, the 2021 Innovation Award recipient, announced Jacob Lasorso, an industrial education instructor at Suncoast Technical College, as the 2022 Innovation Award honoree. The award recognizes a Teacher of the Year who is creative in approach, willing to think outside the box, and able to connect students with learning in unique ways. The 43 Teacher of the Year designees representing their respective schools also were recognized and received cash awards. For the program’s finale, Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen invited Vigne to join him on stage to announce the 2022 district honoree.

“We are extremely thankful for each one of our amazing teachers,” said Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen. “Their resilience and commitment are both inspiring and energizing as they passionately serve our students and families. Our Teachers of the Year truly have made a positive impact on the lives of their students and we are very proud of them. Please join me in recognizing these outstanding teachers, as well as extending a special congratulations to our 2022 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Jennifer Jaso.”

Jaso will represent district teachers throughout the 2022 calendar year and serve as the district’s nominee for state Teacher of the Year. The Education Foundation presented Jaso with a $5,000 cash award and Haddad and Urquiza with awards of $2,500 each.  Vigne thanked Sunset Automotive Group for providing the cash awards and other generous supporters who made it possible to sponsor the celebration event. 

 The event was live-streamed and the post-event video can be viewed at EdFoundationSRQ.org/ignite.

2022 Teacher of the Year Finalists (l-r): Loridia Urquiza, 2022 High School Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Jaso, 2022 District Teacher of the Year, Shannon Haddad, 2022 Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

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