Future Teacher's Academy Earns High Marks

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Brooksville - Students in Hernando High School’s Future Teachers Academy (FTA) program excelled when they competed in the Florida Future Educators of America (FFEA) Conference in Orlando. The conference, held in January, included competitions in five categories (Lesson Plan, Speech, Video, PPT and Display).

HHS sophomore Neveah Miranda made the top 20 in the state. The group came in first place for Research PPT and third for their “Inside Our Schools” video. To watch the video, visit https://youtu.be/pRryydK2Qcs

“All members participated in some shape or form, even if they did not attend the conference,” said teacher J.B. Dill, who runs the FTA program at Hernando High. All costs for the FTA students to travel and participate at the conference were funded through donations made by the Hernando Chamber of Commerce and the Hernando Education Foundation.

Hernando High’s FTA program is young, currently in its second year. The program began with 8 students during the 2020-21 school year and has grown to 113 students this year. The FTA students make twice weekly visits to Brooksville Elementary School, where they work with students in Pre-K through fifth grades in all subject areas, including specials and guidance. “Students average about 220 volunteer hours a week,” Dill said.

“We intend to open all classes – Level 3 and 4, and 3 Dual Enrollment electives from St. Leo University – so kids can complete the 4-year program,” Dill said. “They can take more than one FTA class, as long as they are in the correct progression.”

Due to its success at Hernando, the district hopes to revitalize the program next year at Weeki Wachee High School.

"The ultimate goal of all of our Career and Technical Education programs is to create pathways in K-12 education for students to discover meaningful and profitable career options whether they plan to go on to college or the workplace," said Supervisor of College and Career programs Beth Lastra. "The Future Teacher Academy is one program where students actively learn specific job skills today that can lead to career options in their future."

Photos are from the classroom celebration hosted by Liz Casner, a board member for Chamber Education Training Association (CETA) and part of the Hernando Chamber of Commerce.

Students in the classroom  Group shot with large check

Gina Michalicka, Beth Lastra and students several students at tables in the cafeteria