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Florida City Elementary Teacher wins South Region’s Teacher of the Year

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Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 10:48 am

Katina Perry-Birts is a graduate of Homestead Sr. High. From there, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Science degree in Reading K-12 at Barry University. From Barry, Katrina moved on to earn her specialty certification in ED Leadership at Nova University. Perry-Birts first worked as a substitute teacher for five years before completing her education degree in 2005. Then she got a job at Florida City Elementary, where she has taught ever since.

In October of 2017, Perry-Birts was nominated as the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year at Florida City Elementary School which put her in the running with 106 other schools in the South Region. Soon she surpassed all others and was named a finalist and ultimately brought home the title of the 2019 Francisco R. Walker South Region Teacher of the Year to Florida City Elementary School.

What made Katina a winner? Robin Lodge, a teacher at Florida City Elementary for many years, oversaw Ms. Birts during her student teaching at Florida City. “She was a wonderful intern who was very dedicated to teaching and to the students that she served. Now as a teacher, she is still that dedicated teacher who truly cares about 

each and every one of her students and goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher.” stated Lodge.

Ms. Perry-Birts then moved on to the Miami-Dade County competition for Teacher of the Year.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school

district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools with roughly 18,000 public school teachers in the running for Teacher of the Year.

Bringing pride to Florida City Elementary and the city, Perry-Birts was honored by being named one of four finalists in the County. Alas, Katina was not chosen as the winner however, everyone at Florida City Elementary School knows that a child is very fortunate to have her as a teacher, as she is a winner. On May 22nd, Perry-Birts was also

honored by Mayor Otis Wallace and the City of Florida City.

Rachelle A. Surrancy, Principal of Florida City Elementary School described Ms. Perry-Birts, “Ms. Perry-Birts is an outstanding teacher, who cares deeply for her students and demonstrates first-hand what it means to teach the whole child.  Not only does she plan for and deliver instruction through

lessons that are standards-based and engaging for her students, she also teaches her students

lessons that cannot be housed in textbooks. Lessons, no doubt, that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Perry-Birts explained how she teaches, “It has been through tireless efforts and infectious pedagogy that I have maintained the mindset A Charge to keep I have and a God to Glorify. With this mantra, I have been obliged over the years to teach, touch and impact young lives. My philosophy of education is: Every student deserves a quality education with significant and meaningful, eye opening experiences that will be remembered.”

“You’ve got to have a heart and a passion for the kids,” she added. “You have to have that passion and if you have that passion, you can motivate them.” When asked about being honored as the South Region Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the County, Ms. Perry-Birts stated, “It was an amazing experience. I felt honored and very proud to represent Florida City Elementary School.

Congratulations to a “home grown” community member making a difference…Ms. Katina Perry-Birts.

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