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Press Release

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DOE Press Office

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

Miami, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott recognized four 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year for their commitment to improving Florida's education system.

Governor Scott said, "Florida teachers are the cornerstone for this state's education system. Through their innovative teaching techniques and understanding of how children need to learn, they are helping to nurture an educated, college and career-ready workforce."

The four 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year invited to today's meeting of the Florida Cabinet come from Florida Atlantic University High School and Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

The participating 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year include:

Evelyn "Evie" Schwartz, Broward County, Oakridge Elementary School - Schwartz inspires her students to learn through empowerment and responsibility. She encourages her students to make the right choices and to do what is best to foster positive life skills. Schwartz said, "Learners today need academic, social and interpersonal skills to be successful in our democratic, global society."

Courtney Gardiner, Florida Atlantic University High School - Gardiner has been teaching health education and physical education for seven years. Courtney tells her students that "physical and health education are the most important classes you will ever take. They teach you lifelong wellness skills and how to take care of yourself mentally, socially and physically."

Marshall Ruffo, Miami-Dade County, Cutler Bay Academy - Ruffo has been teaching at Cutler Bay Academy for the past 11 years. Every day, he strives to motivate his students through interactive and outdoor learning opportunities. Ruffo said, "Real hands-on science with technology integration allows my students to do real science which develops the skills needed for future scientific endeavors."

Stacy Milchman, Monroe County, Plantation Key School - Milchman currently teaches second grade and has been teaching in Florida for more than 18 years. She believes it is her duty to provide her students with the highest level of learning. Milchman said, "I have a love of learning. Constant collaboration, incorporation of new learning styles, technology and research-based strategies, inspire my students while keeping them engage in the lesson."