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October 17, 2002

Contact: Bill Edmonds
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130

Florida teachers named to 2002 All-USA Teacher Team

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Secretary Jim Horne today announced that 10 Florida teachers were named as members of the All-USA Teacher Teams, a teacher recognition program by USA Today.

"It is with great pleasure I congratulate all of the exceptional Florida teachers who have been named to the All-USA Teacher Teams," said Governor Bush. "They have demonstrated their dedication to teaching in a way that motivates a love for learning and encourages academic achievement among our children."

The following two teachers were selected as members of the All-USA Teacher First Team:

  • Anita Meyer Meinbach, Southwood Middle School, Miami. Meyer is also Miami-Dade County's 2003 District Teacher of the Year.
  • John Keon, Hudson Middle School, Hudson. Keon is also Pasco County's 2003 District Teacher of the Year.

"Florida is fortunate to have so many talented and qualified educators," said Secretary Horne. "It is no surprise that our students are performing at increasing levels when they have exceptional educators guiding them in the classroom."

Each October, USA Today features 20 outstanding teachers as representatives of all exemplary K-12 educators nationwide. Each member of the All-USA Teacher first team receives a trophy and $2,500 for their schools. Twenty runners-up are also named to each of the second and third teams.

The following teachers were selected as members of the All-USA Teacher Second Team:

  • Sharon Burnette, Crown Point Elementary, Jacksonville. Burnette was recently named the Governor's Teacher in Residence and was the 2002 Region 2 Teacher of the Year Finalist.
  • Jessica Fredricks, Bethune Academy, Haines City.
  • Judith Legault, Lake Highland Preparatory, Orlando.
  • Joe Monks, Bright Horizons School, Pompano Beach.

The following teachers were selected as members of the All-USA Teacher Third Team:

  • Christopher Benevides, Sandpiper Shores Elementary, Boca Raton.
  • Gail Bonjione, Seminole High School, Sanford. Bonjione is also Seminole County's 2003 District Teacher of the Year.
  • Connie Hines, Sunrise Middle School, Ft. Lauderdale. Hines is also Broward County's 2003 District Teacher of the Year.
  • Steven Noll, Sidney Lanier School, Gainesville. Noll is also Alachua County's 2003 District Teacher of the Year.

To be eligible, teachers must have been certified K-12 educators teaching full time for the 2001-2002 school year and have at least four years experience. Selection is also based on the nominee's professional development activities and their ability to motivate students toward higher academic performance.

The USA Today Teacher Team Award was developed in coordination with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Middle School Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Education Association and American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

For more information about the All-USA Teacher Teams, visit