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Kindergarten Teacher Wins $10,000 We Deliver Award

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Shelby Baldree

Kindergarten teacher Shelby Baldree thought she was going to the media center at Hammond Elementary School this afternoon to talk to reporters about preparing children for success starting in kindergarten. She was surprised to be greeted with Silly String and noise-makers, school district and Education Foundation officials, cheering kindergartners, and husband Jason who were there to surprise her with the news that she had won the Superintendent's We Deliver award.

Hammond principal Lynn Rattray had called Mrs. Baldree into her office to complete her spring evaluation after lunch. Meanwhile, another staff member brought Shelby's kindergartners into the media center. Yesterday, Mrs. Rattray sent an email to staff telling them that the media center was going to be occupied with members of the media, ostensibly to do interviews about the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. After they completed the evaluation, Mrs. Rattray asked Mrs. Baldree to accompany her to the media center.

After the initial surprise, Superintendent Elia read from some of the 15 nominations submitted by parents and fellow teachers making the case for how Shelby goes above and beyond to make miracles happen in her classroom. Next, Hillsborough Education Foundation President Phil Jones presented Shelby with her prize - a $10,000 check to spend on anything she chooses.

A total of 418 nominations for 188 school district employees were submitted online between February and the end of March. This is the sixth year the superintendent and Education Foundation have presented the award.