Barancik Foundations Awards First ‘Ripple Effect’ Awards to Sarasota County Teachers

In partnership with Sarasota County Schools, the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation unveiled its Ripple Effect Teacher Award at the school board meeting on May 18. The newly established, semi-annual prize acknowledges outstanding teachers who have impacted lives in and outside classrooms. Each are awarded $5,000 to spend on professional development experiences or on material and equipment for their classrooms.

The spring semester awardees are Darwin “Tony” Epps from Brookside Middle School, Jessica Gardner from Wilkinson Elementary School, Steve Lord from Atwater Elementary School, Mary Pedro from Lamarque Elementary School and Judi Robson from Sarasota Middle School.Eeach winner was recognized by their principal during a special ceremony. The recipients were commended for their innovative efforts in building positive cultural changes at their schools—among both their students as well as their peers. All were quoted for having an impact that would reverberate through the lives of those they encountered. This month’s awards were in awarded in honor of Charles Barancik’s birthday. A second round of five teachers will be recognized in September in memory of Margery’s.

The winners were selected out of 54 candidates. Facilitated by the School District, each Sarasota County principal nominated one teacher to be considered for the award. A committee made up of community leaders then identified the top candidates. The Barancik Foundation has made an ongoing commitment to award the teacher grants, up to $50,000 total, every year moving forward.