Reading instructor Wayne Ricks was voted 2017 Teacher of the Year for Poinciana High School.

Solana Pimentel

Lady Eagles Basketball Coach Voted Teacher of the Year

November 14, 2017

It’s official.

Poinciana teachers voted reading teacher and girls’ basketball coach Wayne Ricks this year’s teacher of the year.

Ricks, who only began teaching this year, is no stranger to the classroom.

He’s been helping Ms. Inwood and other ESE teachers as a para professional for three years.

He also helped lead the boys basketball team to a state title two years ago as the assistant coach and then snagged another state title last year as the head coach of Project Unify, a basketball team hybrid of regular education athletes and special needs athletes.

Ricks was last year’s coach of the year for Poinciana.

Ricks said he was honored to receive the teacher of the year award so early in his career.

“I love working at PHS because there’s a positive staff and the kids are great,” Ricks said. “Being teacher of the year is just the cherry on top of everything.”

Before Ricks became a teacher, he was a para professional for three years.

Ricks ties to Poinciana run deep. He also graduated from the school in 2010.

“I had a lot of good memories at PHS,” Ricks said.

Ricks said much of the credit goes to his varsity basketball coach Jay Lunce when he was a student athlete himself.

“My varsity basketball coach made me realize that I was destined to work at PHS,” Ricks said. “I wanted to make an impact on students’ lives just like the impact he made on me.”

Sophomore Alanis Zabala, who is a student and basketball player, said Ricks helped her on the court and in the classroom.

“I was able to raise my GPA with Coach Ricks’ help,” Zabala said.

According to Zabala, Ricks is available for his students anytime, not just during class or on the court.

“Whenever I need something or need someone to talk to, Coach Ricks is always there for me,” Zabala said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Lady Eagles Basketball Coach Voted Teacher of the Year”

  1. Sherry Taylor Manuel on December 19th, 2017 9:04 PM

    Congratulations on your note worthy achievement. I used to teach at Poinciana High School and have so many awesome memories of the students and staff. I personally know Mrs. Inwood and Mr. Lunce, and I’m glad to see that you are carrying on the tradition of be a fine, caring teacher. I wish you all the best in your teaching career. That’s for making teachers look good.

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