By Kye Saunders
One of Newsome High School’s favorite staff members received a big honor last month.
Literacy Coach Sandra Misciasci was awarded the Congressional District 16 Teacher Award for 2020 and was recognized by the Hillsborough County School Board at a recent meeting.
District 16 is composed of Manatee, Sarasota and Hillsborough Counties and Misciasci was the only 2020 recipient for all of Hillsborough County.
The Congressional Teacher Award, established by Congressman Vern Buchanan in 2014, is given out annually to Suncoast teachers who have made an impact with students, teachers and parents through their outstanding dedication to education.
Misciasci has 18 years of teaching experience and meets these requirements in spades.
When asked what it felt like to receive recognition for teaching thousands of children over the years, Misciasci responded, “My initial feeling was humility. I feel blessed by God to have the opportunity to make an impact and partner and learn alongside both my fellow teachers and the students.”
Misciasci works with students throughout the school, giving them extra help and assistance.
“All 3,000 kids become my kids now,” she said. “We focus on reading and writing skills to make sure that all of them receive the attention that they deserve.”
It’s the incorporation of the term ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ in every step of how Misciasci talks about teaching that serves as a reminder that education is truly a team effort between teachers, students and parents.
With the changing face of education due to the pandemic, many individual members of the community want to know how to support hardworking educators like Misciasci.
Her response to this challenging situation was simple.
“Empathy and Grace. Moving forward, we must show empathy and grace to both teachers and the parents,” she explained. “Assume good intentions and don’t be afraid to ask questions to gain understanding. This is a partnership and we must empathize.”
Hillsborough County School Board Chair Melissa Snively also recognized Misciasci.
“Congratulations on this well deserved award,” she said. “Go Wolves.”
To learn more about Newsome High School, located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, call 740-4600 or visit www.mysdhc.org/newsome.