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Jason Lancy was not the typical math student and no one expected him to become the typical math teacher. Math just didn’t come naturally to him.

Now, 10 years of teaching experience later, he says those struggles with math are the reason he found success as a math teacher. “Students tell me that how I explain math is different and easier to understand,” said Lancy, chairman of the math department at Windy Hill Middle School. “That’s because I can empathize when they feel lost and confused.”

Lancy was named Lake County Schools’ Teacher of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the end of an evening celebrating the district’s top educators. The Educational Foundation of Lake County hosted a dinner at Lake Receptions to honor each school’s Teacher of the Year and announce which teacher from the group would win the districtwide award.

As Lake County’s top teacher, Lancy received numerous prizes, including passes to Walt Disney World and a 2017 Nisan Sentra, courtesy of Jenkins Nissan of Leesburg. He will also advance to the state level where he will compete for the title of Florida’s Teacher of the Year.

Lancy was one of three finalists announced in January. The others were Dee Dee Bitter of Seminole Springs Elementary School and Faith Gilliland of East Ridge High School, both of whom attended Saturday’s celebration dinner. Each of the three was recognized in video presentation before the winner was announced.

Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay thanked all of the teachers during her remarks at the event. “You give so much of yourselves and ask for so little in return,” she said. “You are among the best in our profession and you make Lake County Schools a great place to learn and work.”