Justin Crouch, a social studies teacher at Umatilla High School, was named Lake County Teacher of the Year. The other finalists were Julie Forgie, who teaches autism spectrum disorder students at Windy Hill Middle School, and Melissa Meadows, a second-grade ESE teacher at Treadway Elementary School.
For winning, Crouch received a 2015 silver Jetta from Jenkins Hyundai in Leesburg. All payments have been made three years in advance. After three years, he’ll have the option of buying the vehicle.
“I just had my first daughter six months ago, so having a family vehicle is a godsend,” Crouch says.
Presenting the county’s teacher of the year with a new vehicle has been a longtime dream of Carman Cullen-Batt, executive director of the Educational Foundation of Lake County.
“Our teachers are so incredible and work so passionately at what they do,” she says. “Being able to award one with an automobile is our way of saying thanks.”