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Press Release

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Governor's Press Office
850-717-9282

Governor Scott Presents Shine Awards to Five Teachers of the Year During Cabinet Meeting

Tallahassee, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott showed his appreciation for Florida's teachers and applauded their commitment by presenting the Governor's Shine Award to five 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year.

Governor Scott said, "To acknowledge great teachers, I have created the Governor's Shine Award to highlight teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of educational excellence. I am proud to present this distinguished award to our 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year. I am also pleased that great teachers across the state will be receiving pay increases for their hard work and dedication. This is a major victory for our hardworking teachers."

"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 Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Jefferson and Suwannee counties.

"Every day you help Florida's students realize their potential, fulfill their dreams and embark on challenging journeys toward college and successful careers," said Governor Scott to the teachers in attendance today. "Florida's strong, effective teachers give students an advantage in today's competitive environment. I am proud to present the Governor's Shine Award to teachers who go above and beyond to make a difference in education."

The participating 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year are below.

  • Carrie Cooper, Columbia County, Columbia High School - Cooper has been teaching for six years and currently teaches 9th grade English at her alma mater, Columbia High School. Cooper brings humor and understanding to her classroom and students thrive in this supportive atmosphere. "One of the most important lessons I have learned in my teaching experience is that even high school students need a loving, nurturing relationship with their teacher," said Cooper. "Once I build a rapport with my classes, they will attempt even the most monumental of tasks."
  • Deborah Hodge, Dixie County, Dixie County High School - Hodge has been teaching for 34 years and currently teaches 10th and 11th grade English at Dixie County High School. "I challenge my students to reach their potential by offering a rigorous curriculum that requires them to think critically and analytically," said Hodge. "I encourage them to be creative in their approach to assignments and tasks and to complete their work with a sense of pride that displays their academic excellence."
  • Kathy Griffin, Hamilton County, Central Hamilton Elementary School - Griffin has been teaching for 10 years and currently teaches 4th grade at Central Hamilton Elementary School. Her teaching style allows students to explore and develop their own strengths in learning. "Once students realize that they have all the necessary skills needed for success, then their desire to learn will increase," said Griffin. "I encourage students to always strive for more, and never stop believing that they can achieve."
  • Nicole Roddenberry, Jefferson County, Jefferson County Elementary School - Roddenberry has been teaching for nine years and currently teaches 1st grade at Jefferson Elementary School. Roddenberry implements various teaching strategies to meet each student's particular needs. "By staying in tune with my students' learning styles, all students are capable of learning and experiencing success," said Roddenberry. "My teaching style is one that is engaging, interactive and challenging. I implement differentiated instruction so that each student is challenged at their own level."
  • Kelli Williams, Suwannee County, Suwannee Primary School - Williams has been teaching for nine years and currently teaches 1st grade at Suwannee Primary School. Williams designs lesson plans that actively engage all students through the use of authentic literature, technology resources, and various strategies that allow students plenty of time for sharing and discussing ideas. "I believe I inspire my students to learn by creating a classroom environment where all students know they are safe and that I deeply care for them," said Williams. "I try to connect our lessons to things that interest the children in the world around them and give them opportunities to connect in personal ways to the lessons."