Department of Education Announces the 2021 Florida Teacher of the Year State Finalists


Published on: May 29, 2020

Department of Education Announces the 2021 Florida Teacher of the Year State Finalists

This week, the Florida Department of Education announced the five 2021 Teacher of the Year state finalists. The five state finalists were chosen from 74 district teachers of the year.

Below is information about each of the five finalists.

Kristin Wilson, Florida State University

Kristin Wilson, a high school science teacher at the Florida State University School, has been a member of the FSU School staff for the past twelve years. During this time, she has worked to integrate inquiry-based learning into the curriculum of the school. In addition, Kristin has served as the science fair coordinator and an intern supervisor for pre-service teachers. She also initiated the construction of a greenhouse and farming project at the school and is the sponsor for the Girls Go CyberStart Club and Engineering Society. Ms. Wilson has a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida State University.

Euan Hunter, Marion County

Euan Hunter, from Vanguard High School in Marion County, has been a chemistry teacher at Vanguard for the past four years. In this position, Mr. Hunter has partnered with the University of Florida Veterinary School, the Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital and the Silver River Museum to promote the learning of his students. In addition, he has secured over $90,000 worth of grants designed to apply chemistry into real world, local situations in support of the science program at Vanguard. Euan began his educational career in Scotland after receiving a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Krista Stanley, Okeechobee County

Krista Stanley has been a sixth-grade teacher at Yearling Middle School in Okeechobee County for the past four years, where she serves as the school math representative and mentor for new teachers. Krista also facilitates professional development with a focus on standards-based instruction and was named the Project One New Teacher of the Year for Okeechobee County in 2016. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Florida State University.

Robert Paschall, Orange County

Robert Paschall, a fifth grade teacher at West Creek Elementary School in Orange County, has dedicated his 26 years in education to serving students and ensuring their educational needs are met. He integrates project-based learning and digital learning in his classroom. Robert also volunteers his time outside of the classroom to tutor students. In the 2018-2019 school year, Robert was named a Florida High Impact teacher, indicating the significant learning gains his students had achieved on state assessments. He holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

Syndie White, Palm Beach County

Syndie White is a third-grade teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School in Palm Beach County, having served in this capacity for the past five years. During this time, she has established a Robotics League, a Young Engineers Club and the Girls in Aviation Project. In addition, Syndie created the Engineering Family Fun Day to encourage families to become involved in STEM, resulting in Syndie received the STEM Innovation Award for Palm Beach County in 2019. She has a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education from Lynn University.

This year’s five 2021 Teacher of the Year state finalists were chosen from more than 185,000 public school teachers throughout the state. After each school district selects its teacher of the year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community reviews each district application 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 will also serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

The Florida Teacher of the Year Program is made possible by these generous sponsors: Florida Prepaid, State Farm, Gulf Power, Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue, Voya Financial®, Florida Power and Light Company, Publix Super Market Charities, PNC Bank, Universal Orlando Resort, Blue Man Group and Herff Jones.

For more about the Florida Teacher of the Year program, please visit Florida Teachers Lead.