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July 13, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Commissioner Blomberg Announces Richard Ellenburg As The Florida Department Of Education/Macy’s 2008 Teacher of the Year

ORLANDO — Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg and Macy's Chairman and CEO Julie Greiner last night announced Richard Ellenburg as the Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2008 Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made during a ceremony hosted by Emmy Award winner Debra Norville at Hard Rock Live! at Universal Studios CityWalk in Orlando. Ellenburg is a Science teacher at Camelot Elementary School in Orange County.

"It is my honor to recognize Richard Ellenburg as the 2008 Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year," said Commissioner Blomberg. "Richard’s commitment to student success embodies the finest example the education profession has to offer."

Ellenburg will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, touring the state to spread the word about educational opportunities and challenges in Florida. He will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy's, a customized trophy and an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Macy's will also award to each of the other four finalists — Deborah Fahmie, Cypress Elementary School, Osceola County; Robert Johnson, Port Charlotte High School, Charlotte County; Dr. Sandy Melillo, Northeast High School, Broward County; Diane Tomko, Flagler Palm Coast High School, Flagler County — a $5,000 check and a $500 Macy's gift card. Macy's also presented $1,000 to each of the finalists' respective schools to be used toward educational programs.

“Richard’s love of teaching and dynamic style are evident in his students. He not only equips them with the fundamentals, but also empowers them with the confidence to meet life’s challenges head first,” stated Julie Greiner, Macy’s Florida Chairman and CEO.

The Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year is chosen from more than 180,000 public school teachers by a selection committee comprised of teachers, principals, parents, and the business community. Florida's top educator is selected on the basis of his or her outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and exceptional 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.

For more information about the Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2008 Teacher of the Year, visit

Richard Ellenburg - Orange