Thursday, Suwannee County honored its district teacher of the year. Friday, Gadsden County school officials are following suit.
The teacher nominated for the prestigious honor is winning praise from students and colleagues alike.
Yasmeen Leon has been the "nucleus" of her biology class, helping these children turn the pages of academic success. Friday, several of Leon's colleagues surprised her as the superintendent named her "district teacher of the year."
Yasmeen says, "I feel wonderful. This is such a privilege to be chosen by my peers to represent this district in this manner. I thank God for this today."
It's an honor that didn't surprise her students, who say Leon goes above and beyond her call of duty.
Miranda Mack, an East Gadsden High student, says, "She always has a positive attitude. Even when she's upset, she smiles. She taught me biology when I was in 10th grade. She is someone I remember. We wrote a letter of recommendation for her to be chosen teacher of the year."
Leonor Yanez, a biology student, adds, "Just yesterday she was explaining someone and I said 'Miss Leon, I'm not that King person; I like more hands-on kind of stuff,' and she actually made the call all hands-on so I could understand what she was teaching."
It's the kind of approach students say that sets her apart, making her a powerful voice in this small rural community.
Three years ago, Leon was named teacher of the year at James A. Shanks High School. On Thursday night, Madison County named Jeff Hill its district teacher of the year!