WESLEY CHAPEL — Kathryn Bylsma, science department head at John Long Middle School in Wesley Chapel, has been selected Pasco County's 2009 teacher of the year.
Bylsma, 49, has taught in Pasco since 1993.
She recently served on the committee that helped draft Florida's new science standards.
She told the Pasco Education Foundation, which sponsors the award, that teachers must be keen observers, empathetic listeners, flexible facilitators, truthful reflectors, purposeful evaluators, unending learners and enthusiastic communicators — in other words, practically superhuman.
"You do what you need to do for kids," Bylsma said in a recent interview.
Bylsma is a member of the United School Employees of Pasco. She leads a Senior High Sunday School group and is a member of the Relay for Life Team.
She also has been a trainer of Pasco County's Math/Science Institute and a volunteer with Pasco Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program.