Schools Superintendent Theresa Axford, right, congratulates Teacher of the Year Neda Jackson. CONTRIBUTED

Neda Jackson, lead math teacher at Key West High School, has been named the Monroe County School District Teacher of the Year. She has served the students and families for the past 21 years, teaching classes ranging from liberal arts math to algebra II honors.  She has also served as a math coach, athletic director, activities co-director, coach, social media contact and club sponsor.  

“Neda Jackson is a brilliant educator. Her deep understanding of math concepts allows her to create multiple pathways for students to learn with hands-on projects that show how math has application to the real world,” Superintendent Theresa Axford said. “Her students succeed because she believes that every student can be successful if he or she tries their best. It’s a winning combination.  I am so pleased that she has been selected as Monroe County’s District Teacher of the Year.”

“My objective is to exceed students’ expectations as a teacher and to make a difference in their lives,” Jackson said. “I hope to inspire my students of all levels and help them reach their goals.”

“Neda is an advocate for all students, particularly our students most at risk for not graduating,” said Larry Schmiegel, Key West High School principal. “She has impeccable work ethic and works tirelessly to ensure all students are active contributors to the learning environment. She sets high expectations for herself and others around her.”

Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and began teaching for MCSD in 2001 at Key West High School. Her diligent efforts at supporting students who need to pass the state math requirement has resulted in an increased number of students graduating. In addition to teaching a range of math classes, she has engaged in professional development, most recently training for the Mathematic B.E.S.T. Standards and she has designed and implemented lessons aligned to the new standards using an abundance of teaching strategies and technology.  Her extracurricular work is extensive and she is always willing to assist with after school activities. 

The selection committee noted Jackson’s dedication to student achievement, her experience and expertise in subject area content, and her depth of school involvement as reasons that made her stand out from the other excellent candidates. 

Those candidates include Christina Belotti (MHS), Cynthia Boyd (PKS), Ali Ferguson (POI), Stacie Gonzalez (SSE), Crystal Hendricks (HOB), Malla Horner (SLS), Cheyenne Pepper (GAE), Diana Ruiz (CSHS), and Veronika Valdes (KLS).