The Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching Excellence was established in 1998 by Gilchrist Berg, founder and president of Water Street Capital, to honor teachers with lifelong careers in education. Berg has given more than $2 million to honorable Jacksonville teachers. The award is named after Berg’s fourth-grade teacher at Ortega Elementary school, Gladys Prior.
Latasha Lawrence from James Weldon Johnson College Prep Middle School is the newest recipient. She is an eighth-grade biology teacher with almost 20 years of practical experience in teaching. Ms. Lawrence received her BS at Bethune-Cookman University and earned her master's degree in health science at The University of Central Florida. She was a semifinalist for the VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year award in 2021.