Article by Audrey Davis, South Lake Tablet

Pictured L-R: David Colby, South Lake Chamber of Commerce President & CEO with Audrey Davis, South Lake Tablet Intern Correspondent

This week on August 7th and 8th, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted its 33rd Annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast. The event welcomed over 1,600 elementary, middle school, and high school teachers from across the area to honor their commitments to education.

Monday and Tuesday’s celebrations of K-12th  elementary and high school educators began with opening remarks from South Lake Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Colby, Master of Ceremony Jenna Emerson, and Reverend Doug Kokx, all of whom emphasized the vital significance of teachers in the community, who devote their lives to educating the future of society. When addressing the educators in attendance, Reverend Kokx captured the essence of the event: “You guys are amazing, and you have to know, there is a community behind you.” 

Following these speakers was the Presentation of Colors by the South Lake High School NJROTC and the singing of the national anthem by East Ridge High School’s Rhythm of the Knight, who later took the stage once more for a performance of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”.

Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay then welcomed the county’s educators and ushered in the coming school year, stating, “If there was something that I wanted to challenge you with this year, it is to be the very best teacher that every child in your classroom has had.”

During the spirit contest, each school competed fiercely to make the most noise; the most spirited schools won $1,000 worth of printing from Office Depot.

The schools showing the most spirit were: South Lake High School, Gray Middle School, and Grassy Lake Elementary.


The $ 2,000 South Lake Chamber of Commerce Grant was given to: Lake Minneola High School, Gray Middle School and Sawgrass Bay Elementary.

Altogether, the event gave out over $30,000  in the form of door prizes, giveaways from sponsors AdventHealth and CEMEX, the annual spirit award, the Chamber’s school grant, and more.

The pure generosity and enthusiasm felt throughout this event is a reflection of South Lake County’s educators, who will be the foundation for a fantastic 2023-2024 school year.


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