PCPS Announces District 4 Finalists for Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year
Posted on 09/18/2023
Headshot photo of District 4 finalists, TOY - Robert Brown and SRE - Richard Reich

Let’s hear it for the District 4 finalists for the 2023-24 Polk County Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year!

Congratulations to:

– Robert Brown, Teacher of the Year finalist, U.S. government and economics teacher, Winter Haven High

– Richard Reich, School-Related Employee of the Year finalist, registrar, East Area Adult School

Brief profiles of these two finalists can be found below.

PCPS is recognizing 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:

Robert Brown, Winter Haven High, TOY

Even in childhood, Robert Brown knew he wanted to be a teacher. He takes pride in helping students understand how our government and economy affect their lives. And he gets results, as evidenced by his students’ performance on AP exams.

At Winter Haven High Brown is regarded as an outstanding educator, leader, ambassador and role model. Administrators say he always seeks new opportunities to improve his skills and help others. Brown is a recipient of the prestigious James Madison Memorial Fellowship for teachers of history and government. He also has stepped up to be the lead teacher for WHHS’ new civics academy. Outside of the classroom, he leads the Dutch Exchange Program at WHHS, is a dedicated Key Club advisor, and administers the school’s clothing closet for students in need. He has many other school and community involvements, which reflects his passion as an educator and volunteer.

Photo of District 4 Teacher of the Year Robert Brown, being surprised by students and coworkers

Group photo of Robert Brown with District staff and representatives

Richard Reich, East Area Adult School, SRE

Richard Reich was once a GED student himself, so he understands the importance of adult education and helping people succeed in life. As a registrar and terminal operator at East Area Adult School, he enjoys being part of a team that keeps the campus running smoothly. He played an essential role during COVID of assisting students with the transition to online learning. He also has spent time doing research and making improvements to services for East Area students.

Administrators say Reich is part of the reason why East Area’s enrollment has increased. They also can rely on him for his technology and data expertise. Perhaps best of all, Reich is known around campus as an empathetic friend and colleague who is always willing to offer his knowledge and support. Whether it’s fellow employees or East Area students, he just wants to see other people flourish.

Richard Reich surprised at his nomination for School-Related Employee of the Year

Group photo of Richard Reich with District staff and representatives

Category: For Schools,News