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PRESS RELEASE

March 31, 2006

Russell Schweiss
(850) 488-5394

Governor Bush and Education Commissioner Winn Honor 2005 and 2006 Teachers of the Year
Teachers of the Year recognized during luncheon at the Governor's Mansion

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today honored Florida's 2005 and 2006 Teachers of the Year during a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion. The Macy's Florida Teacher of the Year award, co-sponsored by Macy's Department Stores and the Florida Department of Education, recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

"The strongest contributor to student success is the teacher," said Governor Bush. "I am proud to recognize these teachers for their dedication to ensuring the best futures for our students. These teachers have distinguished themselves as truly exceptional members of their profession."

"These teachers exemplify the dedication and commitment that makes the teaching profession unlike any other," said Commissioner Winn. "Because of their efforts, our students will realize personal and academic success from which we will all reap rewards."

Announced during July of each year, the Teacher of the Year is recognized during an awards ceremony in Orlando. In addition to the finalists and other educators, Governor Bush was joined today by Southern Security Life executives, the Governor's Teacher in Residence Sharon Burnette, K-12 Public Schools Chancellor Cheri Pierson Yecke and previous Teachers of the Year. The award checks were presented by Southern Security Life Insurance National Sales Director Franz Wallace to the Teachers of the Year.

Kerri Walukiewicz, Reading/Language Arts teacher, Forest Grove Middle School in St. Lucie County was recognized as the 2005 Teacher of the Year. The 2005 Teacher of the Year Finalists were Janice Gilchrist, fourth grade teacher, Griffin Elementary in Polk County; Janet Glancy, English teacher, Naples High School in Collier County; Charlene Mauro, marine science teacher, Navarre High School in Santa Rosa County; and Karen Pierce, Kindergarten teacher, Bonneville Elementary in Orange County.

2006 Teacher of the Year and Finalists:

Samuel Bennett, fifth grade teacher, Garner Elementary School in Polk County was recognized as the 2006 Teacher of the Year. The 2006 Teacher of the Year Finalists were Kathy Corder, tenth grade English teacher, Lawton Chiles High School in Leon County; Fredrick Ingram, Band Director, Miami Carol City Senior High School in Miami-Dade County; Kathy Ann Kreidler, Exceptional Education teacher, Taylor Elementary School in Taylor County; and Daniel Snyder, Exceptional Student Education, high school mathematics, Fernandina High School in Nassau County.

"Meeting with Governor Bush in his Tallahassee home today and the opportunity to meet with President Bush in a few weeks are highlights for this Florida Teacher of the Year," said Samuel Bennett. "This recognition is a tremendous honor."

For more information on Florida's outstanding teachers and rising student achievement, visit www.myflorida.com or www.fldoe.org.