PONCE DE LEON – Holmes County School District recently named their first Teacher of the Year in several years.

Ponce de Leon Elementary fourth grade math teacher Catherine Peel was given the honor on March 6. Holmes County School Board held a reception to honor Peel after their board meeting.

Peel is a Ponce de Leon High School alumni who has taught first and third grades, but has found her home in fourth grade. Her students scored the highest in the entire district for math on the Florida State Assessment testing last year.

“I am excited to represent Ponce de Leon Elementary and Holmes County School District as Holmes County Teacher of the Year," Peel stated. "It is a very humbling award. I look forward to attending the galas and events held in Tallahassee and Orlando this Summer."

Peel, who started teaching in 2010, said new challenges arise daily in the educational field. However, she approaches them the challenges with excitement and suspense. She said she has a passion to help students in her hometown to become the best academically and socially.

They inspire her to teach, she added.

"I am inspired daily by my students and their love for learning. Each time I receive a hand written note, card, or illustration saying they love me, I know I am doing my job right,":she stated. "Teaching requires a lot of demands, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I get to make a difference in children’s lives daily.”



HCSB plans to include Rookie of the Year and Support Personnel of the Year next year, officials said.