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Press Release

Friday, December 3, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Announces First Teacher Treasures Contest Winner

~ Pinellas County teacher will receive gift certificate and feature in statewide publication ~

Tallahassee – The Florida Department of Education (DOE) announced today that Pinellas County teacher Michael Varn is the first winner of Teacher Treasures, a new monthly contest designed to help honor Florida’s dedicated teachers. Mr. Varn, a second grade teacher at Brooker Creek Elementary School in Tarpon Springs, was randomly chosen from more than 5,000 contest participants. As part of his selection, Mr. Varn, a 15 year veteran educator, will be highlighted in the next edition of the monthly Just for Teachers newsletter which is distributed to all of Florida’s 160,000 teachers. Mr. Varn will also receive a $100 gift certificate redeemable at any Chick-fil-a, kindly donated by Kenny Harrison, Store Manager of Chick-fil-a’s Tallahassee Mall location.

“Congratulations to Mr. Varn on being Teacher Treasure’s first winner. His hard work coupled with the tremendous efforts of all Florida’s teachers is resulting in significant academic strides for all of our students,” said DOE Teacher Liaison Kelly Seay. “In such a challenging economy it can often be difficult to find ways to honor these extraordinary professionals, but this initial prize from Chick-fil-a, and the many other donations we have lined up, helps to demonstrate that the great work of our educators is always on our minds.”

The Teacher Treasures contest is being offered through the DOE’s Just for Teachers website. Teachers are eligible to enter once each month for the chance to win prizes and gift certificates from various stores, restaurants and lodging facilities. Upon registering for the Teacher Treasures contest through the Just for Teachers website, Mr. Varn shared, “I’m enjoying the information on this site.”

The next contest, to be awarded the last Thursday in December, is a $100 gift certificate courtesy of Publix Supermarkets. Teachers must re-enter every month to be eligible to win. The entry form is only available online, with the application period for each drawing beginning the first of the month. Winners are given the opportunity to be featured in the DOE’s Just for Teachers newsletter, which is e-mailed monthly to more than 160,000 educators across the state.

Through the Just for Teachers website, Florida educators have an opportunity to enjoy numerous discounts or reduced rates on any number of items and services. Educators should be on the lookout for the Just for Teachers newsletter that includes important education news as well as an updated list of available discounts and offers.

To learn more about Just for Teachers, visit www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.