Winning awards is not exactly new for Amy Drury.
Recently, however, she added a big one.
She has been named Pasco County’s Literacy Teacher of the Year.
Drury was honored during the Pasco County School Board meeting on Dec. 5.
Tressa Lima, from the Office of Leading and Learning, shared Drury’s history and accomplishments with board members.
She told the board it was with great pride and honor that she stood before them “to recognize this amazing educator, Miss Amy Drury,” the county’s Literacy Teacher of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year.
“Amy started her career in Polk County in 2003 as a substitute teacher. She quickly learned that teaching was her calling, and moved to Pasco County Schools, teaching second grade at Woodland Elementary, in 2004,” Lima said.
“She spent 14 years at Woodland Elementary, moving from a second grade teacher to a PLC (Professional Learning Community) facilitator and then moving into the role of the instructional trainer/coach.
“She was recognized as the Teacher of the Year in 2007 for both of her school sites, as well as recognized as the Sam’s Club and Walmart Teacher of the Year winner, as well.
“Since 2018, she joined the ranks at Raymond B. Stewart Middle School as a sixth grade language arts teacher, and then quickly became their instructional trainer/coach for literacy, in the following year.”
Lima continued: “She knows that developing caring adults will develop caring students, and she carries that mantra forward in everything she does.
“Her passion for literacy led both to her taking formal and informal leadership roles within her school, as she serves the community as well.
“I had the pleasure of serving as Amy’s district coach in 2017 and it was awe-inspiring to me to see her deeply ingrain herself in work, while keeping students at the forefront. She’s truly one-of-a-kind.
“You couldn’t walk the hallways of Woodland Elementary without a student or staff member stopping her to say hello. It was like I was walking with a celebrity.
“She’s someone who anyone can, and does, go to for support because she assists in any way possible.
“She’s extremely knowledgeable and willing to help. She’s truly loved by students, teachers, staff, parents — all alike.
“Most importantly, she’s passionate about literacy for all, for all of her students.
“Prior to her moving to middle school, she told me she felt like she wanted to do more for her students and see them through the continuum of learning.
“She knew how they performed under her watch at Woodland, but wanted to impact them at that point after leaving her as well.
“She told me that she gained inspiration from watching Mrs. (Kimberly) Poe (former principal) hug her students on the graduation stage, as they beamed with pride and excitement, and she thought to herself: ‘This is what it’s all about — students, and joining in their success.
“Every professional development that Amy runs, she does it with her team — rooted in action, support for literacy across disciplines for each student.
“Amy is a true testament for passion and dedication. She’s never afraid to get her hands dirty with the right work. She would never ask anyone to do something that she hasn’t done herself, which makes her truly amazing among her peers and colleagues alike.
“Her forward-thinking and continuous desire to grow and learn makes her an asset to our system, in every aspect.
“She believes each student can be successful, if they have a champion in their corner — someone who is willing to fight for them and let them know that they are worth it and they can do it,” Lima said.
She told the school board that the district has submitted Drury’s name to represent Pasco at the state level.
Drury was asked if she would like to make some remarks.
She responded: “I’d just like to thank Tressa for her kind words. That was beautiful, and my team over here that continues to support me in everything that I do.”
Published December 13, 2023