EAGLE LAKE, Fla. – A Polk County teacher says she was banned from the classroom in August due to a delay related to a pandemic.
Summer Kilbourn dreamed of becoming a teacher.
A native of Polk County, she spent her school and college years babysitting, nanny, and volunteering at various children’s camps.
“I’ve always loved working with children,” said Summer.
Summer was offered her first job as a kindergarten teacher at Pinewood Elementary School in Eagle Lake before graduating in June. The only thing that was needed to seal the deal was for the Florida Department of Education to receive their college diplomas before school started on August 24th.
Summer says she contacted her advisor at Niagara University in New York, who sent her transcripts to the Florida Department of Education in early August.
Summer told ABC Action News that she spent hours on the phone with government education workers who couldn’t tell her if they had received the transcripts or when they would upload them to her profile.
“The only answer I was ever given was COVID,” she said.
ABC Action News contacted the Florida Department of Education on Summer’s behalf in September.
“After you started calling the state of Florida, I actually got a call from the woman in the certification department,” Summer said.
The Florida Department of Education responded in an email to ABC Action News, saying, “I’m glad we were able to solve the problem. The problem was probably an isolated incident. “
Days later, the state issued Summer a letter of approval clearing the way for her to apply for a teaching certificate.
“I’m very excited. I honestly couldn’t be more grateful,” said Summer.
In mid-September she was in the classroom teaching 22 kindergarten teachers.
Review an educator’s certification with the Florida Department of Education. You can search by name or license number under: https://flcertify.fldoe.org/datamart/selSearchType.do