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Broward Educator Named 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist

May 17, 2022

FDOE Press Office

Broward Educator Named 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist

~ Eagle Ridge Elementary School’s Seema Naik is one of five finalists vying for the top award ~

Tallahassee, Fla., May 17, 2022 – Today, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) named Seema Naik, a fourth-grade teacher at Eagle Ridge Elementary School in Broward County, as a finalist for the 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year award. The announcement came during a surprise visit to Eagle Ridge Elementary School, with newly appointed Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. and Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Dr. Paul Burns imparting the honor. The Florida Teacher of the Year program recognizes excellence in teaching and celebrates outstanding professional educators in schools across the state. The 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year winner will be announced on July 14 in Orlando.

“Seema Naik is a shining example of excellence in the classroom. Her passion for teaching science and STEM subjects is nothing short of inspiring,” said Incoming Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “It is my pleasure to congratulate Seema Naik for her selection as a 2023 Florida Teacher of the Year finalist.”

“A persistent and caring teacher, Naik constantly supports her students and seeks to work with parents, school staff and her community to help children reach their highest potential,” said Superintendent Vickie Cartwright of Broward County Public Schools.

“In my experience as a school leader, there are only a few teachers I would consider to be a pioneer. It is clear in my mind that Seema Naik is a STEM pioneer in the education world. For the past 10 years, she has led our school in creating new STEM opportunities for our students,” said Lindsey Sierra, principal of Eagle Ridge Elementary School.

Seema Naik is passionate about science and related topics, and she has opened the world of STEM and robotics to countless students. Mrs. Naik blends innovative project-based learning with research-based instructional strategies to motivate students and achieve success in the classroom. She also founded Eagle Ridge Elementary School’s first Robotics Club in 2017, and continues to lead it today. Her commitment to excellence, classroom performance and service to students is supported by an outstanding personal education journey, which includes a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a master’s degree in environmental engineering and an Alternative Certification for Educators from the Teaching & Leadership Center at Florida Atlantic University.

Five finalists were chosen for 2023 Teacher of the Year from nearly 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 serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

In partnership with the Florida Education Foundation, the Florida Teacher of the Year program is made possible by these generous sponsors: Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans, State Farm Insurance, Florida State University College of Education, Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue Foundation, Florida Education Association, Herff Jones, Publix Super Market Charities, PNC Bank and Florida Power & Light Company.

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

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