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Press ReleaseTuesday, May 4, 2010
Teacher of the Year Finalist From Nassau Received Magical Thank You from Macy’s!~ One of five finalists named to compete for distinguished 2011 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Award ~
MIAMI, FL – May 4, 2010 – Sometimes a simple “thanks” is all that a teacher needs to feel valued. Today, an extraordinary teacher received a magical, unforgettable and well-deserved thank you for her commitment to her students. Kelly Burnette of Yulee High School in Nassau County has been chosen as one of five finalists from a group of 72 teachers to compete for the 2011 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Award. At 9:30 a.m., Florida Department of Education Commissioner, Dr. Eric J. Smith, along with a representative from Macy’s, were on hand to make the big surprise announcement. The high school Science and Student Life Skills Dual Enrollment Teacher was called by Principal DeArmas Graham to the school’s office and told that she has been chosen as one of five finalists for the prestigious honor.
Upon receiving the good news, Burnette was presented with a $5,000 check made possible by the Macy’s Foundation and a $500 Macy’s gift card. A $1,000 check, also funded by the Macy’s Foundation, was presented to the finalist’s school. This year, the Macy’s Foundation will contribute over $100,000 in cash to the state-run Teacher of the Year program, as it has done since 1988.
“Kelly Burnette’s love of teaching and dynamic style translate into big successes for her students. Kelly equips her students with the fundamentals and also empowers them with the confidence to meet life’s challenges,” stated Karin Darmanin, Macy’s Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Stores. “Macy’s wants to thank Ms. Burnette for demonstrating that the role of a teacher is to inspire as well as teach.”
“Each teacher of the year finalist brings with them an unwavering commitment to the success of their students,” said Commissioner Eric J. Smith. “They represent their colleagues in the education profession with honor and distinction and I am extremely grateful for their tireless work every day in classrooms throughout the state.”
Commissioner Smith and Darmanin will announce the winner of the 2011 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year award during a ceremony on Thursday, July 8 at 6:30 p.m. The event, hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Deborah Norville, will be held at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios CityWalk.
For the 22nd year, Macy’s will sponsor and produce the awards ceremony. During the event, the remaining 67 nominees from around the state will be recognized for their achievements and excellence in teaching. Each of the nominees will be presented with a $750 personal cash award and a $250 grant for their school, funded by the Macy’s Foundation.
In addition to the $10,000 grant funded by the Macy’s Foundation, the Teacher of the Year will receive awards from Macy’s including an all-expense paid trip for four to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The winner will also serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, touring the state to spread the word about educational opportunities and challenges in the Sunshine State. To date, Macy’s and the Macy’s Foundation have contributed over $2 million to teachers throughout the state.
This year’s five finalists were chosen from more than 180,000 public school teachers throughout the state by a Department of Education-appointed selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community. Each finalist is selected on the basis of outstanding 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.
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.
For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom.