Governor honors P.K. Yonge math teacher for expertise

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 5, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

An Alachua County math teacher has been honored by the governor for her exceptional teaching.

Alicia Stephenson, who teaches eighth-grade math at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, joined district teachers of the year from around the state in Tallahassee last week to receive a Shine Award from Gov. Rick Scott.

“The whole two days that we were in Tallahassee, I’ve just never felt more honored or more special to be a teacher,” Stephenson said. “They truly value what we do in the classroom with students.”

Stephenson taught for six years in Georgia and two years in Alabama before coming three years ago to P.K. Yonge.

She heads the school’s Math Acceleration Program, a summer program for students who need extra help with math.

Each summer, the program brings in students who are identified either by FCAT scores or teacher recommendations as needing math tutoring. Teachers strengthen students’ skills in the subject before doing some pre-teaching for the upcoming year’s curriculum.

In addition to strengthening math skills, Stephenson said, students get to bond with their own teachers, and feel more comfortable asking for help during the regular school year.

This year, the program served about 40 students in grades 6 through 9.

“It gives the students a chance to be very successful in math,” Stephenson said.

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