Teacher of the Year Handed Keys to a New Car
By Cathy Padilla
The sound of cheering was explosive, like attending the largest, most exuberant parade. Today, Friday, February 9, at Champion Elementary School in Daytona Beach, the Volusia County Schools 2025 Teacher of the Year Emily Fagerstrom was celebrated by her school and received one of her most exciting gifts yet when Daytona Mitsubishi and Daytona Kia Sales Manager Tom Gross provided her with a brand-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross to cruise around in for the year. Students with signs cheered, her family and friends applauded, and Superintendent Dr. Carmen Balgobin, school board members, and Champion Elementary students and staff were all on hand to celebrate.
Fagerstrom was selected from 70 nominees representing schools countywide and was one of five finalists for the district award. She will now represent Volusia in the state Teacher of the Year program.
Emily Fagerstrom is the math instructional coach at Champion Elementary. She has been an educator in Volusia County Schools for 11 years.
“My journey as an educator has been a continuous exploration of ‘Achieving Excellence Together,’ a mantra that encapsulates the essence of my inspiration in this profession,” said Fagerstrom. “Transitioning from the classroom to an instructional coach’s role has opened my eyes to a broader canvas of education. It’s a transformation that fills me with gratitude, as the stakeholders have expanded from my beloved students and parents to now include the dedicated teachers I support.”
Fagerstrom is a leader whose work goes beyond her coaching role at Champion Elementary. She has proudly taken on the role of a Volusia Mentor and serves as the lead mentor at Champion Elementary. In addition, she serves as the co-chair for Champion Elementary’s School Advisory Council (SAC) and is an active member of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). Her dedication to enhancing math education has extended beyond her classroom and her school, as she is also a facilitator with Volusia Learns, leading professional development sessions to educate and inspire fellow educators. “Together, we create learning environments that nurture curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love for learning,” she said.
Photo credit: Cathy Padilla
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