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Press Release

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Governor's Press Office
850-717-9282

Governor Scott Honors Two Outstanding Teachers with Shine Awards

~ Teachers recognized during Cabinet Meeting for contributions to their students and schools ~

Tallahassee, Fla., December 10, 2013 - During today's meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized two educators who have made outstanding contributions to their schools and students with the Governor's Shine Award. The Shine Award is presented to Floridians who have helped children through education.

Governor Scott said, "It is an honor to thank Luis Espinosa and John Herber for their contributions both in and outside the classroom. The work they do today provides our students with the foundation for future success in college and careers. Great teachers like Luis and John are critical to ensuring Florida has a world-class education system and I thank them for their continued service."

Congratulations to each of the following teachers:

  • Luis Espinosa, Broward County, Apollo Middle School - Espinosa began his teaching career 17 years ago and currently serves as a science and STEM educator at Apollo Middle School in Broward County. Espinosa is the chair of the Science department and heads Florida's first middle school industry certification program known as LEEO - Linking Education and Employment Opportunities as well as the Aeronautics STEM Magnet program. His proudest accomplishment has been the stewardship of The Daniel Torres and Greg Ashley STEM in the Gardens Learning Center, which through a $95,000 grant secured by Espinosa, added an indoor botany learning lab equipped with computers, microscopes, a chess area and a butterfly garden with a solar powered fountain. Espinosa was recently honored with a Milken Educator Award in recognition for his achievements.

  • John Herber, Escambia County, Oakcrest Elementary School - Herber began teaching in Escambia County 15 years ago after graduating from the University of West Florida. He has spent the past seven years at Oakcrest Elementary School, where 94.7 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and he currently teaches 5th grade science. Through Herber's commitment to his students, he has raised their proficiency in science from 16 percent when he began teaching seven years ago, to 68 percent. Within the first five years of Herber teaching at Oakcrest Elementary, the school went from an F-grade school to an A-grade school. Herber also coaches football practice and hosts tutoring sessions each week for his students. Herber was recently named one of People Magazine's six Teachers of the Year.