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Press Release

Friday, May 15, 2009

Governor's Press Office
(850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Honors Florida’s Educators During Florida Teacher Appreciation Day
~ Event recognizes the dedicated work of teachers throughout state ~

MIAMI – Governor Charlie Crist, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith and Florida Parent Teacher Association (FPTA) President Karin Brown hosted a special ceremony at Palmetto Middle School in Miami-Dade County today to honor Florida’s teachers. Florida Teacher Appreciation Day, celebrated on May 15, is the state’s designated day to recognize the important contributions of educators.

“Florida’s education system is now ranked 10th in the nation, and we owe that success to the drive and dedication of teachers across the state,” said Governor Crist. “Our teachers are paving the way for the continued achievement of students for generations to come, and for that we thank them – not just today, but every day.”

Students and staff of Palmetto Middle School welcomed their special guests with a brief ceremony that included a student jazz ensemble. The school was selected as the venue to unveil the Department of Education’s teacher appreciation video, assembled from teacher appreciation video clips submitted by numerous Florida schools. The video will air on the Florida Knowledge Network which can be viewed throughout the state.

“The Florida Parent Teacher Association is proud to work alongside our teachers to provide them with the necessary support and encouragement as they work to mold the minds of our students,” said Brown, Florida PTA President. “I’m thrilled that our collaboration with schools and teachers is helping our students achieve in a global world."

“Teachers are the foundation in any education system, and they selflessly dedicate their time both in and out of the classroom in order to share knowledge and motivate our students to excel,” said Commissioner Smith. “Today marks a wonderful celebration of the vital efforts they put forth to help develop tomorrow’s leaders.”

At the event, Governor Crist expressed gratitude to the United States Department of Education for earlier this week approving Florida’s request for a waiver that ensures the Sunshine State receives its fair share of federal stimulus dollars for education. Half of the $2.7 billion education appropriation, or $1.35 billion, during Fiscal Year 2009-10 is the state fiscal stabilization grant that will come to Florida as a result of the waiver.

In honor of teacher appreciation, the Florida Department of Education has compiled a listing of discounts geared toward educators. To view the discount list, visit www.fldoe.org/justforteachers/.