Caloosa Belle

LHS Brilliant Orange winner

The first year teachers at LaBelle High School from left to right: Phillip Eyrich, Joey Valero, Jimmy Norman, Danielle Pack, Hope Roberts, Shelby Whidden, and Ashley Pascule. (Submitted photo)

Every school year, Hendry County School District rewards first-year teachers from every school with the Gulf Coast Citrus Brilliant Orange Award. The award recognizes one outstanding beginning teacher from each school that demonstrates exemplary teaching skills.

This year, LaBelle High School has a phenomenal group of new, beginning teachers to choose from, making for a difficult decision.

Phillip Eyrich

The winner of the Brilliant Orange award from LaBelle High School is Phillip Eyrich, a new music teacher and director of the school’s marching band. Eyrich, a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and has a lifelong passion for both music and teaching.

His main responsibility is teaching the LHS Concert, Marching and Jazz Bands, but has also put it on himself to expand the LHS band program.

The band has flourished under his leadership, earning them many different achievements over a short period of time. On October 22, the band earned Best-In-Class with a score of 70.6 at the Braden River Marching Band Invitational, a six-point increase from the previous school year. The following week, the band traveled to Fort Myers for their Marching Music Performance Assessment, earning an Excellent rating, an improvement from the Good rating they received a year before.

Additionally, Eyrich has spearheaded fundraising efforts that have allowed many students to play without a single out-of-pocket expense. They have also raised over $8,000 for new band uniforms that have a total cost of $36,000!

Mr. Philip Eyrich is a well-deserving first-year teacher for the Brilliant Orange Award and LaBelle High School is lucky to have him, along with all the other great new teachers!