Our Welcome To Sanford Lee County Teacher of the Week is Mr. Vincent Pienaar of SanLee Middle School. Mr. Pienaar is an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Elective teacher for grades 6-8 and has been at SanLee from the very beginning, when the school opened its doors 10 years ago. Mr. Pienaar was recognized as a national Teacher of the Year in 2008, and as the 2011-12 Lee County Teacher of the Year. He’s a 34-year teaching veteran with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (Kindergarten-sixth grades) and holds numerous elementary school and middle school certifications.
Mr. Pienaar’s school responsibilities extend far beyond teaching classes. He is a part of the Beginning Teacher Mentor Program, is an AVID Club sponsor, puts together the morning announcements and presents AVID Professional Learning Workshops to SanLee staff. Mr. Pienaar’s commitment to the AVID program has helped SanLee achieve AVID National Demonstration School status — an achievement reached by only 3% of schools across the country.
Mr. Pienaar teaches by a simple philosophy, “whatever it takes!” He comments, “I believe that students need a safe learning environment and an equal opportunity to learn. I work daily to ensure that all students in my classrooms are held to high expectations and supported with needed instructional help. Mutual respect and a variety of learning activities to accommodate differences in student learning, is imperative to enhance student performance.”
In his free time, Mr. Pienaar loves to go camping in their camper trailer “in the middle of nowhere” with his wife Anriette, (also a teacher at SanLee). If he can take his ski boat along, and play, wakeboard and fish, even better. Mr. Pienaar also enjoys hanging out with his friends and entertaining.