Top Teacher

By Kay Kipling Photography by Robert Castro April 1, 2012


Victor Fernandez

Sarasota County Teacher of the Year Victor Fernandez says he owes his achievements to two people: the man who taught him (for free) to play the violin when the 13-year-old Fernandez and his family emigrated from Cuba; and his mother, a school crossing guard who encouraged his passion for music. Now he nurtures the 100-plus students he teaches every day as director of orchestras at Booker Middle School. "I see the potential in every child; every one has the capacity for greatness," says Fernandez, 30. "It’s important that they not only learn the mechanics of their instruments, but can bloom in a safe environment that’s comfortable physically and emotionally."


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