Extraordinary teachers lead to exceptional students

Guest correspondence


Photo courtesy of Sarasota County Schools: Dr. Lashawn Frost, SCF Class of 1990 and Principal of Booker Middle School in Sarasota.

“This teacher pushed me to develop my research, writing and speaking skills.”

“She provides many real life scenarios in her case studies and gives us examples of experiences she has had in the field.”

“This teacher connects with and connects with his students and connects our work to the real world through explanations and builds on similarities to what we do in and out of the classroom.”

“She did more for me during the short time I was under her tutelage than most others I have known in my entire life.”

“He offers/explains different ways to conceptualize and study the material, always ensuring we have the resources we need to be successful.”

These are the words of the students of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, in recognition of our outstanding faculty. The secret to our success is a faculty that is uniquely committed to our students and our university. They do so with confidence as peer-reviewed, published, award-winning, and actively practicing professionals in their respective fields. Nearly 36% of our full-time faculty hold a PhD and the rest hold a master’s or advanced master’s degree – many of our adjunct instructors are members of the local community who bring their experience and expertise in industry.

For many teachers, they too were first-generation students and appreciate the courage and sacrifices our students need to succeed. Due to Hurricane Ian, several of our faculty and staff have lost their homes or cars, sustained significant damage and/or lost power – some are still recovering. However, after the storm, they sprang into action to help our students and asked the question, what can we do to provide resources and some sense of normalcy? Our teachers care about the well-being and success of our students.

The tradition and advantage of community college is the small class size and individual attention that students receive from their teachers. Additionally, these faculty work with students to provide experiential learning opportunities and connect them to a local network of support that promotes long-term growth. Here are some examples of our proud graduates:

Dr. Lashawn Frost, Class of 1990, who is in her 10th year as principal of Booker Middle School in Sarasota, a position she never imagined when she attended Manatee Community College more than 100 years ago. 20 years.

CFS biotechnology students have found and documented an antibiotic-producing bacterium with DNA that may have never been cataloged before, with the work published in a repository DNA database. National Institute of Health.

Retired Lt. Col. Tessa Angelo Suplee, Class of 1975, was on a mission to serve, having helped save the lives of hundreds of U.S. service members serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait as a nurse.

SCF student filmmaker Gospel Nwachukwu won third place for his psychological horror short film titled “Free” in the inaugural “Emerging Filmmaker Scholarships” competition administered by the “Visions of the Black Experience” film festival.

Melissa Larkin-Skinner, Class of 1990, longtime Manatee County resident, is the regional executive director of Centerstone of Florida, a nonprofit behavioral hospital and addiction center.

April Caldwell, who won $1,500 at the CFS Veterans Business Incubator in a pitch contest, won a $50,000 prize for her business FayVen on pitch show ‘2 Minute Drill” from Bloomberg.

If you’ve voted in Manatee County in the past two years, your “I Voted” sticker was designed by CWS alum Jason Stewart ’19.

Over 20,000 of our alumni have remained local and serve our community as teachers, managers, nurses, doctors, dentists, project managers, contractors, first responders and public servants. Two most recent alumni who have returned as teachers have indicated that they want to further the opportunities and education they have received.

With over 60 years of graduating students, we have a long list of proud faculty and alumni in nearly every field of study, including performing arts and athletics. Our faculty bring a passion for teaching to the classroom, and because of them, our students and alumni are consistently recognized among the best in the state.

Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld is president of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Photo courtesy of Sarasota County Schools: Dr. Lashawn Frost, SCF Class of 1990 and Principal of Booker Middle School in Sarasota.