The Martin County School District (MCSD) and Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) are proud to announce that Martin County High School's (MCHS) Richard LoSardo has been named the District’s 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year.
The winner was announced during the Education Foundation of Martin County’s Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration on Friday, November 4, 2022, at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center in Port St. Lucie. The event was presented by Audi Stuart, Infiniti Stuart and Alfa Romeo Stuart.
Mr. LoSardo, an alumnus of Martin County High School and Florida Atlantic University, has been an educator for six years at his alma mater. As the school's Debate and Cambridge AICE Global Perspectives & Research teacher, he is dedicated to fostering his students' growth as critical thinkers and has established a learning environment that empowers them to share their points of view through well-researched arguments and presentations.
"Mr. LoSardo builds meaningful relationships with his students and helps them build self-confidence," Principal Alfred Fabrizio wrote in his nomination letter. "He exemplifies what it means to be an extraordinary teacher and leader."
In addition to educating students, Mr. LoSardo has enthusiastically accepted numerous leadership roles on campus. He has led various professional learning sessions for his colleagues with a focus on student engagement and formative assessments. The MCHS faculty has issued praise for Mr. LoSardo's ability to collaborate and develop unique and effective instructional strategies for their classrooms. He serves as the school's District Advisory Council (DAC) representative, where he attends both monthly School Advisory Council (SAC) and District meetings.
When he's not helping to shape young lives in his classroom, Mr. LoSardo serves as the Southeast Regional Ambassador for the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative. He assists area Title I middle and high schools with developing debate programs and trains teachers new to the subjects of speech and debate. In addition, he's worked with the Florida Department of Education to develop lesson plans and teaching ideas that integrate English Language Arts (ELA) and Civics curriculums. In June of 2022, he worked to align Florida's B.E.S.T. standards for ELA and Civics with the Debate curriculum for publication to the state's CPALMS resource portal.
“Mr. LoSardo demonstrates a passion for learning, a high level of care for all students and a desire to put the needs of students first," Mr. Fabrizio shared. "To say I am proud of the work he has done to support our students and the impact he has made on the Debate community is an understatement."
Superintendent John D. Millay was proud to see Mr. LoSardo earn this year’s award.
“Richard LoSardo is a passionate, knowledgeable educator who recognizes the importance of developing the next generation of critical thinkers,” Dr. Millay said. “He embraces his students' natural inclination to have questions about the world around them and prepares them to not only discover answers, but to be able to express facts and their findings in a well-researched and articulate manner. He is an admired and respected colleague at Martin County High School, throughout our district and in our community. I am honored to have Mr. LoSardo represent the Martin County School District as the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year.”
“We at the Education Foundation of Martin County are so proud of our local teachers and are inspired by their dedication to Martin County's students," said Kate Cotner, President of the EFMC. "Congratulations to all of the nominees and this year's winners. We will proudly follow Mr. LoSardo's journey as he represents Martin County in the running for Florida's Teacher of the Year award."
The Florida Department of Education's Teacher of the Year finalists will be announced in May 2023.
In addition to honoring the District’s 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year, winners were recognized in the Elementary, Middle and High School categories:
Elementary School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
Rachel Reinhardt, Port Salerno Elementary - Fifth-Grade Teacher
Ms. Reinhardt has been an educator at Port Salerno Elementary School for four years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida and prides herself on being a loving, hard-working teacher dedicated to ensuring her students are cared for, rigorously educated and challenged to become the best version of themselves. Ms. Reinhardt enjoys working with all students, particularly English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with special needs. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher, she serves as the school's Safety Patrol liaison, STEM Club Coordinator, School Improvement Plan (SIP) co-leader and as a mentor for new educators. She enjoys helping to organize various school initiatives, from family enrichment events to field trips and faculty gatherings. In her spare time, she volunteers in her church, teaching Sunday School and helping with Vacation Bible Study.
"Ms. Reinhardt has been an extremely valuable asset to our staff at Port Salerno Elementary School," Principal Lauren Gifford wrote in her nomination letter. "She is an advocate for all children and believes in the power of establishing meaningful and positive relationships built on trust with each individual student."
Middle School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities
Monica Pool, Stuart Middle School - Reading Teacher
Veteran teacher Monica Pool has proudly educated Martin County students for seventeen years, spending the last four at Stuart Middle School. She holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University and a graduate degree in Reading Education from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to teaching Reading, Ms. Pool serves as the school's School Improvement Plan (SIP) and School Advisory Council (SAC) team leader, a new teacher mentor, a professional learning community (PLC) facilitator and advisor and a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team member. She proudly leads professional development for teachers, literacy coaches and administrators, and was a member of Florida's curriculum writing team that wrote and reviewed the new B.E.S.T. standards for English Language Arts (ELA). She teaches students who are struggling with literacy and writing, inspiring them to develop confidence in themselves and take pride in their learning.
"I have had the privilege of working alongside Monica for the past 14 years," Principal Ebony Jarrett wrote in her nomination letter. "Through our collaboration, I have seen first-hand a consummate professional who epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. Monica has continually and consistently inspired and impressed me with her expertise, professionalism, growth mindset and unwavering dedication to the achievement of quality, excellence and class for which our District is known. She is a recognized and celebrated curriculum leader, a leader of professionals seeking the betterment of schools and, at heart, a dedicated and caring educator."
High School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Keiser University
Richard LoSardo, Debate/AICE Teacher - Martin County High School
**Winner of the 2022-2023 Martin County School District Teacher of the Year Award
To view each school's nominee for this year's award, please click here.