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Palm Coast Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 8 months ago

Matanzas​ ​High​ ​School's Teacher of the Year, Patricia​ ​Perri-Trimmer, guides Pirates with approachable, honest mindset

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Perri-Trimmer has been a guidance counselor at Matanzas for nine years, with the last three as department chair.
by: Paige Wilson Community Editor
Patricia Perri-Trimmer said she owes being an educator to her aunt, who was a teacher for 33 years. Photo by Paige Wilson

Q: Why do you think you've been awarded Teacher of the Year?

A: I am truly honored and humbled being selected as Matanzas' Teacher of the Year and can't really give a reason why. The only thing I can think of is that my love and respect for education is shown through my students. They are the reason I work so hard. As for the teachers, I make it a point not to forget what it was like being in the classroom and give credence to the fact that they play an instrumental role in my students' journey through high school.

Q: Why do you love teaching?

A: These are excerpts of emails from former students. It's the students who keep my love for education alive:

“I'm not sure if you remember me but you had me for my 8th and 9th grade. I wanted to reach out to you and thank you for pushing me as a student. I never thought I would become a teacher, and here I am. You made a big impact on me, and I want to thank you for that.”

“...I want to start by thanking you for being the best guidance counselor there ever was...I am currently president of my dorm, my professor wants me to join her at the dean’s table, and I do track and lacrosse.  And I owe all of this to you. If it weren’t for you I don’t think I’d be in any of these positions.  I don’t think I’d be at NYU.  You were always honest, kind, as well as dedicated and made sure the Kane’s were on the right track.  I will never be able to thank you enough.”

Q: How long have you been teaching (at Matanzas specifically and in general)? What's your position title?

A: I have been in education for 33 years, starting in New York for ten. I began in Flagler County in 1995 teaching one semester at OASIS, Flagler's alternative school, and then moved to Volusia County for three years. I returned to Flagler County in 1998, teaching three years at Old King's Elementary and five years at Buddy Taylor. This is my twelfth year at Matanzas High School where I spent three years as an English/Reading teacher and a part-time dean. This is my ninth year in guidance and for the past three years, I have been the department chair.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style? What's unique about you and your classroom that could have contributed to you earning Teacher of the Year?

A: I can't say that I have a teaching style. I feel that as a school counselor, you need to be approachable, knowledgeable, honest and most of all, trustworthy. I have laughed and cried, been tough and tender, been a confidant and a mediator. I take pride in the fact that students, parents and teachers feel comfortable coming to me, knowing that I treat everyone with the utmost respect.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add about earning Teacher of the Year that I didn't ask?

A: The only thing I would like to add is that I owe being in education to my aunt, a teacher for 33 years. She now suffers from Parkinson's and dementia. I wish she could celebrate this award with me and let her know I am now in this position because of her. 

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