Meet the Teacher of the Year nominee for Tomoka Elementary
Tomoka Elementary Coach Jamie Sheriff has been teaching physical education for 22 years in the same school she attended from fourth through sixth grade.
The Holly Hill native grew up surrounded by sports. When she was 12, her neighbor Bob Hendren, who was a coach in the area, picked her up to help him teach swimming, dancing and gymnastics over the summer, which she continued to do for the next five years. She said that experience is what led her right into teaching P.E.
After high school, Sheriff attended Daytona State College on a softball scholarship, later transferring to the University of Central Florida where she obtained her bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree. Now, Sheriff said she works in the best school in Volusia County.
"I’m surrounded by phenomenal teachers that work here from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., but they take their work home with them," Sheriff said. "They work on the weekends. Everybody is so dedicated to what they do and to be nominated is truly an honor.”
Being a special area teacher, Sheriff gets to know every kid in the school. She said she tries to form a bond with each one of them, through classes and after school programs.
One of those programs is adventure racing, a team sport involving different activities, which Sheriff does in her spare time. The longest one she's done has been a three-day race.
“I try to show them that there’s other sports besides baseball, basketball, soccer, dancing and gymnastics," Sheriff said. "There’s other avenues that they can take that they just don’t know about yet."
She also wants to remind her students to remember to "stop and smell the roses."
“If there’s an animal let’s stop and look at it," Sheriff said. "Let’s not always make it about being fast and who’s first. Let’s enjoy the moment.”