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Press Release

Friday, July 10, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Governor Crist Honors Megan Allen as the 2010 Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year
~ Hillsborough County school teacher recognized for creative approaches to learning ~

ORLANDO — Megan Allen, a fourth year teacher from Cleveland Elementary School in Hillsborough County was announced last night as the Florida Department of Education/Macy’s 2010 Teacher of the Year. The announcement came following a night of festivities that honored the accomplishments of Florida’s most outstanding educators.

“Florida is home to some of the best educators in the nation and I’m proud to honor Megan Allen as the 2010 Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year,” said Governor Charlie Crist. “Not only is she a credit to her profession, but her contributions in and out of the classroom exemplify the type of teaching that has moved Florida’s education system to 10th in the nation.”

Ms. Allen will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, visiting schools throughout the state to share information on educational opportunities and challenges in Florida. She will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy's, a customized trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

“As Teacher of the Year, Megan’s enthusiastic and hands-on approach to student learning will help all teachers find new ways to motivate their classrooms,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “She has done incredible work in challenging and inspiring her students and will serve our state well as Florida’s newest ambassador for teachers.”

Macy's will also award each of the other four finalists — Patricia Fairclough, Air Base Elementary School, Dade County; Emily Barbacci, Lawton Chiles High School, Leon County; Melissa Reiker, Apopka High School, Orange County; Marilynn Pedek, Suncoast Community High School, Palm Beach 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.

“Teachers contribute greatly to the prosperity of communities – cultivating young minds, inspiring students to learn and broaden their knowledge base, and ultimately empowering youth,” said Karin Darmanin, Macy’s Senior Vice President, Regional Director of Stores. “Macy’s is honored to recognize Megan Allen – an accomplished educator, mentor to students and great contributor to our society.”

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 Teacher of the Year, visit http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/yeartch.asp.