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July 20, 2004

MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Horne Announces Kerri Ann Walukiewicz as the 2005 Burdines-Macy's Florida Teacher of the Year
St. Lucie county Middle School teacher awarded for outstanding contributions to teaching

ORLANDO — Education Commissioner Jim Horne was joined by Burdines-Macy's Chairman and CEO Tim Adams to announce Kerri Ann Walukiewicz as the 2005 Florida Department of Education/Burdines-Macy's Teacher of the Year during a ceremony tonight. Teachers and supporters gathered to celebrate the announcement at Hard Rock Live! at Universal Studios CityWalk, Orlando.

The Florida Teacher of the Year is chosen from more than 130,000 public school teachers by a selection committee comprised of teachers, principals, parents and the business community. The top educator is selected on the basis of superior ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service. The winner must also show a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

"Congratulations to Kerri Ann Walukiewicz who has shown the drive and dedication to become our state's education ambassador and the 2005 Florida Teacher of the Year," Commissioner Jim Horne said. "All of the finalists have shown a commitment to improving student achievement and have proven leadership in the classroom that will make a difference in the lives of many students."

The winner was awarded a cash prize and package from Burdines-Macy's that included a $1,000 contribution to her school. Burdines-Macy's has also awarded cash prizes to the other four finalists and district winners. For the 16th year, Florida-based Burdines-Macy's department stores have contributed $100,000 to the state-run Teacher of the Year program, making their donation one of the largest corporate cash contributions to Florida public schools.

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