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Press Release

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Governor Scott Presents Shine Awards to Six Educators During Cabinet Meeting

Tallahassee, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott honored six educators for their contributions to learning. The Governor presented the Shine Awards during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet. The Shine Award is presented by the Governor to Floridians who have positively impacted children through education.

Governor Scott said, "Education is critical to providing opportunities for Florida's future generations. That's why it's so important that we recognize the contributions of educators who are building a Florida that provides limitless opportunities for our children."

The teachers recognized today have become instrumental in administering the Learning Compacts at their schools. The Learning Compact is a program that creates and nurtures invaluable relationships with parents by making them partners in their children's education.

The following teachers were recognized:

  • Lauri Curri, Sarasota County, Incarnation Catholic School - Curri, a Sarasota native, is an alumnus of Incarnation Catholic School where she currently teaches first grade. "Lauri's background in business and early childhood education made her a natural fit for this school," said principal Regina Housel. "She helps develop realistic expectations for both the staff and families, as they work to develop strong partnerships for the success of the students."
  • Sue Mattson, Sarasota County, Venice Christian School - Mattson has been teaching for 25 years and currently teaches first grade at Venice Christian School. Mattson is also the Vice Principal of elementary programs and a teacher representative for the school board. Sue recognized a need for family involvement and helped organize Connect for Success: Parent Workshops, an on-going partnership where parents are equipped, challenged and motivated to engage in their child's academic, social and spiritual growth.
  • Merilli Wyatt, Hillsborough County, Tampa Adventist Academy - Wyatt began her teaching career 17 years ago, 13 of which have been spent at Tampa Adventist Academy. Wyatt was recently named Assistant Principal, but has been considered a leader in her school for years. She spearheads a successful parent-school partnership plan which provides bilingual progress reports to parents.
  • Andrea Sherman, Pinellas County, Dunedin Academy - Sherman has taught preschool through third grade for the past seven years. Sherman was instrumental in the development and full implementation of a comprehensive plan which allows parents to work closely with school staff and essentially be viewed as the primary educator. Because of her efforts, Dunedin Academy proudly boasts their mantra that parent engagement is an "opportunity not an obligation." As a result of parent involvement, the school has seen a dramatic increase in achievement scores, student motivation and self-esteem.

Also recognized during today's cabinet meeting was Ettie Zaklos of Collier County and Glen Gilzean, Vice President of Step Up For Students:

  • Zaklos is the founder and director of the Chabad Naples Hebrew School and the Naples Preschool of the Arts where she oversees content, curricula, and education and social programs. Her dedication and guidance has helped transform the school from just two students in 2011, to an enrollment of more than 90 students for the coming school year. Zaklos's work in the Chabad organization and her connection with her community has enabled her to become a leader and mentor in her community.
  • Glen Gilzean is Vice President of Step Up For Students and former Pinellas County School Board member. Step Up For Students is an organization created to help alleviate educational challenges faced by children in Florida who live in, or near, poverty. Gilzean works to ensure parents have the ability to provide their children the best education possible.