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Press Release

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida's Top Teacher a National Finalist for Fifth Straight Year

~ 8th grade ESOL teacher one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year ~

Tallahassee, Fla., January 15, 2014 - For the fifth year in a row, the Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year is a National Teacher of the Year finalist. Dorina Sackman, Florida's 2014 Teacher of the Year, was named one of four finalists for the prestigious award today by the Council of Chief State School Officers. She joins educators from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia contending for the national award. The winner will be announced in April.

Governor Scott said, "Florida teachers are the foundation of our education system and provide critical help in preparing students for success in life, a career and in college. I had the honor of meeting Dorina this past year at our first annual Teacher of the Year Summit, and was pleased to award her as the Florida Teacher of the Year. I congratulate Dorina on this great honor and look forward to working with her and all of Florida's teachers as we make Florida the best education system in the nation."

"I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dorina Sackman for being named a National Teacher of the Year finalist," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "Florida has a long history of outstanding educators and I am pleased that the Sunshine State is again included for this prestigious honor."

Dorina Sackman is an 8th grade English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher at Westridge Middle School in Orlando, and has been an ESOL teacher for more than 15 years. She was named Florida's Teacher of the Year and Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education in July 2013. She serves as an education advocate and goodwill ambassador representing educators throughout the Sunshine State.

During the official year of recognition, the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) is released from classroom duties to travel nationally and internationally as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession. The NTOY may be called upon to represent American educators to audiences in other nations and are frequently requested to sit on national and state commissions and policy advising bodies.

The National Teacher of the Year Program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers. It began in 1952 and is the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The national winner is chosen from among state teachers of the year by a selection committee representing 15 national education organizations. The National Teacher of the Year is selected based on the following criteria: inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues; play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule. Each year, the National Teacher of the Year is introduced to the American people by the President of the United States.

For more than 25 years, Macy's has partnered with the Florida Department of Education as the major sponsor of the Teacher of the Year program. The company has annually contributed $100,000 to the program, making it one of the largest corporate contributors to Florida public schools. To date, Macy's has donated more than $2 million to teachers throughout the state as part of the Teacher of the Year program.

For more information, visit National Teacher of the Year Program.