PCPS Announces District 2 Finalists for Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year
Posted on 09/12/2023
Headshot photo of District 2 finalists, TOY - Sherrie Blackwood  and SRE - Alberto L. Cosme

The PCPS surprise patrol was back on the road today, as we announced the District 2 finalists for the 2023-24 Polk County Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year.

Congratulations to:

– Sherrie Blackwood, Teacher of the Year finalist, civics teacher, Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy

– Alberto Cosme, School-Related Employee of the Year finalist, custodial crew foreman, Boone Middle School

Brief profiles of these two finalists can be found below.

In the coming weeks PCPS will recognize finalists from all seven districts, and the overall winners will be announced at the Inspire Awards on Nov. 9 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. The Polk Education Foundation and PCPS’ Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships collaborate to present this annual event.

During the event, finalists will be recognized with video tributes and receive sponsored gifts. The Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year will receive a cash prize generously donated by Platinum sponsor MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

Finalist profiles:

Sherrie Blackwood, Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, TOY

Sherrie Blackwood is regarded as an outstanding civics teacher. Her instructional methods are effective and engaging, which results in her students performing well on state exams. She also leads the social studies department at Citrus Ridge and is a past recipient of the Teacher of the Year award from the Florida Council for the Social Studies.

Outside of the classroom, Blackwood helps to welcome new teachers at Citrus Ridge and get them settled on campus. She also serves as a tutor and debate coach, and was a founding member of the school’s dance club. In addition, Blackwood works with community members to promote school events and secure resources that benefit students. Citrus Ridge administrators say that Blackwood’s name is synonymous with hard work, dedication and high performance. She’s had an immense impact on the school’s culture.

District 2 Teacher of the Year Sherrie Blackwood surprised by her students and coworkers

Sherrie Blackwood poses for a picture with Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy staff and district staff with a banner

Alberto Cosme, Boone Middle, SRE

Alberto Cosme takes pride in his work. He knows that keeping the school clean maintains a healthy and comfortable environment for students and staff. He’s also willing to step up when needed.

Last year, Cosme was among a group of PCPS custodians who went to Fort Myers to assist recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Administrators at Boone Middle say they can depend on Cosme to keep the school in good shape. The other staff appreciate his hard work and positivity, as well as his commitment to campus safety. When he sees an issue that needs to be addressed, he takes the initiative to handle it. Cosme is great at his job but is still always eager to learn. No matter the situation, he’s always able to find a way to persevere.

Alberto Cosme is surprised by his school, Boone Middle.

Alberto Cosme poses for a picture with Boone Middle staff and district staff with a banner

Category: For Schools,News