Education Foundation


Monday was a special day filled with surprises as educators across the county learned they had been selected as finalists for Lake County Schools 2019-20 Teacher of the Year.

A caravan of officials from the district and the Educational Foundation of Lake County visited three classrooms to share the good news with finalists Daniel Dilocker, a technology education teacher at East Ridge Middle School; Michael Tarquine, director of Theater & Choir at Windy Hill Middle School; and Kamille Chapman, an 8th grade math teacher at Mount Dora Middle School.

Mr. Dilocker has been an educator since he started his career as a math teacher at Wolf Lake Middle School, where he was named 2008 Mathematics Teacher of the Year and 2009 Teacher of the Year. He moved to East Ridge Middle School in 2016, where he was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year last year. “Students are the main source of inspiration for me,’’ he wrote in his award application packet. “It is so easy for adults to get comfortable with a system of thinking, but students bring curiosity and vision into the classroom, which encourages me to develop unique strategies that will answer their questions and bring out the creativity in themselves.


Ms. Chapman has taught more than 30 years, 28 of which have been in Florida. She returned to Mount Dora Middle School in 2016 after having left in 1996. She was planning to quietly finish out her career and she counted down to retirement. But “I found myself surrounded by amazing, positive influencers who reminded me why I chose to become a teacher 34 years ago,” she wrote. “I care about children and their future. … Over the past few years, it has become apparent that if I am to influence student growth it must start with the development of positive relationships. I don’t do what I do in my classroom to get good data for our school. I do what I do to improve the lives of my students. Good academic results are a byproduct.”

Kamille Chapman, flowers


Mr. Tarquine has been teaching 12 years, moving from the role of Entertainment Manager at Universal Studios to teach and lead the fine arts program at Windy Hill. In addition to classwork and performances, his students also lead many community service projects throughout the year under the umbrella of WHMS Fine Arts Charities. “To date, our program has raised money for hurricane recovery, survivors of the Las Vegas shooting, students at Stoneman Douglas High School, and pediatric cancer research,” he wrote. “We have also provided funds for classroom grants, school campus improvements and teacher appreciation. All of these things are made possible by the collaboration between teacher, students and fine arts families.”

Join us February 16th to find out who will be named the 2019-20 Lake County Teacher of the Year and win the grand prize, a new car from the Jenkins Auto Group. The Lake County winner will go on to compete at the state level for the title of Florida Teacher of the Year.