(Jan. 26, 2022)
It was no accident that East Lake High visual arts teacher Eileen Iacobucci decided to spend her work life in the classroom.
The spark came while she was growing up in Amherst, Mass.
“I grew up in an educational family, where my father was an elementary school principal, my grandfather a high school science teacher, and one of my sisters is a kindergarten teacher,” Iacobucci recalled in comments she wrote as part of her recent nomination for Pinellas County Teacher of the Year.
“It was that upbringing that early on solidified my goal to become an art teacher,” she said.
Her colleagues have decided that Iacobucci has more than met that goal. She was named the school district’s top teacher in a ceremony Wednesday evening at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, one of 10 finalists selected from a field of 131 educators nominated in the fall by their schools.
The annual recognition is organized by the Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County Schools.
In her letter nominating Iacobucci as a top teacher, East Lake principal Carmela Haley quoted Warren Bennis, the late American scholar who was an authority on leadership and managing large organizations. “Leadership is the capacity to turn vision into reality,” he said.
“Mrs. Iacobucci is the embodiment of this statement,” Haley wrote. “Other than being the school’s department chair, mentor to new staff and interns, member of the School-Based Leadership Team and leader of the prestigious Performing and Visual Arts Academy, Mrs. Iacobucci is truly a lifetime learner, embracing a growth mindset.”