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Press ReleaseWednesday, May 8, 2013
Governor's Press Office
Governor Scott Presents Shine Awards to 10 Teachers of the Year During Cabinet Meeting
Tallahassee, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott showed his appreciation for Florida's teachers and applauded their commitment to improving Florida's education system by presenting the Governor's Shine Award to 10 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year.
Governor Scott said, "The Governor's Shine Award is a way that we can recognize Florida teachers for the hard work that they do every day to ensure that our students are prepared to move on to a college or career. I believe future generations of Floridians should have access to a high-quality education and Florida's commitment to our teachers plays a critical role in preparing the workforce of tomorrow. I am pleased that our 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year could join us here today as we celebrate their commitment to student achievement."
The 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year winners invited to today's meeting come from Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.
The participating 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year are below.
- Jason Schack, Brevard County, Melbourne High School - Schack has been teaching for nine years and currently teaches Physical Education. "My teaching style is based around the ability to build relationships," said Schack. "It is not about a certain subject or test… it's about everyday needs of our students. Without these needs being met we will always fall short of maximizing their potential in and out of the classroom."
- Jody Houston, Indian River County, Fellsmere Elementary - Houston has been teaching Speech-Language Pathology for 24 years and currently teaches grades K-5 at Fellsmere Elementary. She brings humor, creativity, and high expectations that inspire students to believe they can achieve anything. "I know how fortunate I am to have the privilege of teaching these children every day, said Houston. "I learn a great deal from them too."
- Noris Aguayo, Lake County, Groveland Elementary School - Aguayo has been teaching for five years and currently teachers third graders at Groveland Elementary. She attributes her success in the classroom by fostering an environment where students fully participate in their learning. "I encourage my students to use a lot of repetition, gestures and participate in peer teaching opportunities," said Aguayo. "My learning style encourages and engages them."
- Timothy Jones, Marion County, Howard Middle School - Jones has been teaching for seven years and currently teaches Ancient Civilizations and Civics to sixth and seventh graders at Howard Middle School. Jones creates opportunities for his students to connect their education with the world outside the classroom. "Demonstrating the relevance and connections that the course content has within the students own life ignites a curiosity that lends itself to a deep understanding of the topic," said Jones.
- Dorina Sackman, Orange County, Westridge Middle School - Sackman has been teaching English language learners for 14 years and currently teaches eighth grade at Westridge Middle School. She brings patience, love, acceptance and humor to her classroom and her students thrive in this supportive environment. "In my classroom we incorporate unique and energetic instructional activities that promote positive student interaction and collaboration," said Sackman.
- Stephanie Middleton, Osceola County, Professional and Technical High School - Middleton has been teaching for 12 years and currently teaches ninth graders Social Studies at Professional and Technical High School. By using technology and hands-on activities in the classroom, Middleton keeps her students inspired and challenged. "My students are inspired because they know I love them and that I am passionate about what I do," said Middleton. "I will do anything I can to help them be successful."
- Virginia Watkins, Polk County, Purcell Elementary School - Watkins has been teaching for 35 years and currently teaches fourth graders at Purcell Elementary School. She brings a special energy to her classroom including the use of dance, rap songs, and rhymes to motivate her students. "I sometimes dress in costume when I read to them to get them into character and use a variety of voices. I think that because I love what I do the kids love learning," said Watkins.
- Adam Sherman, Seminole County, Lake Brantley High School - Sherman has been teaching for five years and is currently teaching 11th and 12th grade students Intensive Language Arts and Leadership. His passion for teaching inspires his students to succeed beyond their dreams. According to his students, "Mr. Sherman is real and makes us ready for life and thanks to him I can say I know what road I am taking when my time comes to a bigger and brighter future."
- Melynda Shea, Sumter County, Bushnell Elementary - Shea has been teaching for nine years and currently teaches Science to fifth graders at Bushnell Elementary. Shea creates a culture for learning where abstract ideas come to life though real-world investigations. "It is my hope that through giving my students a strong foundation in science education, they will look forward to future science classes and pursue a career in the field," said Shea.
- Emily Edwards, Volusia County, Starke Elementary School - Edwards has been teaching for four years and currently teaches fourth graders at Starke Elementary School. Her goal is to make the journey of learning and growing as fun, interesting, and worthwhile as possible. "Learning is viewed and treated as an experience in my room; one that could challenge us, make us laugh, push us to grow and ultimately pull us toward our greatest selves."
Each of Florida's 67 school districts selects a Teacher of the Year who is then considered for statewide recognition. The Florida Teacher of the Year is chosen from more than 180,000 public school teachers throughout the state by a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community. Florida's top educator is selected on the basis of the superior ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service. The most important qualification is the teacher's ability to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.