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Press Release

Monday, July 8, 2013

Georgi Pipkin; 305-577-1973;
Elizabeth Senk; 305-577-2513;

Governor Rick Scott to Attend Macy's Top Teacher of the Year Award Gala!

One of Five Finalists to be Named The 2014 Macy's/Florida Department Of Education
Teacher of The Year During July 11 Award Gala

Miami, FL - July 8, 2013 - For twenty-five years, Macy's has honored the most exceptional educators in Florida who make magic in and out of their classrooms every day. On July 11, 2013, one extraordinary teacher will be named the 2014 Macy's/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year. This year's winning teacher will be announced in front of an audience of their peers, family members and friends at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. Special guest Governor Rick Scott to attend celebratory Award Gala.

"Governor Rick Scott said, "We are making great strides to enhance the quality of our education system, and it's working. Florida teachers earned the top score in the US for teacher quality and Florida students lead all other mega-states in achievement gains in 4th- 8th-grade reading and math. These achievements are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication our teachers demonstrate on a daily basis. I am proud to join Macy's in recognizing Florida's great teachers for their commitment to enhancing our education system and enriching the lives of our students."

The five teacher finalists are:

  • 11th and 12th grade English Teacher Nancy Smith of Citrus High School in Citrus County
  • 6th grade Reading Teacher Apryl Shackelford of Northwestern Middle School in Duval County
  • 9th - 12th grade English, Theater History and Dance Teacher Patricia Gair of Cypress Lake High School in Lee County
  • 8th grade ESOL Language Arts Teacher Dorina Sackman of Westridge Middle School in Orange County
  • 10th - 12th grade Marine Science Teacher Katrin Rudge of Riverview High School in Sarasota County

In May, these five finalists were chosen from 72 school district nominees.

"Macy's is honored to support this year's Teacher of the Year nominees, who are the backbone of Florida's educational system," said Darlene Hanes, Macy's Executive Vice President, Regional Director of Stores. "We congratulate each of our incredibly dedicated and passionate five finalists for their extraordinary efforts in creating magical learning experiences for our youth to reach their full potential in both school and life."

"I have been inspired by the talent and innovative learning strategies Florida's District Teachers of the Year bring to the classroom," said Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett. "They represent the best teachers in the nation and will be a valuable resource for me as I solicit their opinions with the shared goal of preparing our students for a bright future."

The 2014 Macy's/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Awards Gala will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor, Deborah Norville and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

For the 25th 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 a $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 $2.5 million to teachers throughout the state.

This year's five finalists were chosen from more than 189,000 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.

Note: A live stream of the awards ceremony and announcement will be available via the internet.

Live Internet:

Stream Link: If you encounter any technical issues please contact Jorge Rodriguez at 305-986-2329 or Ivonne Amor at 305-299-2091 or via e-mail at .

Live Stream begins July 11 at 6:25 p.m. EDT to end of Awards Ceremony between approximately 8:30-9:00 p.m.

  • 6:25 p.m. - Live Stream Opens
  • 6:30 p.m. - Awards Ceremony Begins
  • 8:00 p.m. (approximately) - Winner Announced / Awards presentation ends