2020 Florida Teacher of the Year Gala
Presented by Florida Prepaid
Florida’s Teacher of the Year Program annual events conclude each year with the announcement of the state’s most celebrated educator. The 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year Gala took place at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida on the evening of Thursday, July 18th, with Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran making the announcement. Read more about the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year, Dr. Dakeyan Graham, here.
2019 MARY BROGAN EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD
MELISSA PAPPAS, ORANGE COUNTY
Presented by Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President, Helios, and 2018 Recipient Bonnie Bresnyan, Hillsborough County
The Mary J. Brogan “Excellence in Teaching” award is named in honor of the late Mary J. Brogan, a third grade teacher and elementary principal, to recognize extraordinary educators who instill passion, joy and love of learning in their students. The award is presented to a district teacher of the year who goes above and beyond the classroom experience. On behalf of the Florida Education Foundation, Melissa will be presented a check for $1,000.
Melissa Pappas teaches autistic students at Brookshire Elementary School in Orange County. She is an outstanding educator who goes above and beyond in her teaching of special needs students.
Not only is she an outstanding educator, she provides “solace to parents in need and a safe haven to students who may not otherwise know calm.” She inspires, assists, listens and supports. Above all, she celebrates every student’s success, great or small.
2019 DR. BRIAN DASSLER LEADERSHIP AWARD
LINDSAY BEAM, CALHOUN COUNTY
Presented by Andy Tuck, chair of the State Board of Education, and 2017 Recipient Rob Patterson, Pasco County
In March 2017, the education community lost one of its brightest stars with the passing of Deputy Chancellor of Educator Quality Dr. Brian Dassler. An avid social media user, Dr. Dassler was known for remaining in contact with past students and colleagues and for continuing to celebrate in their success even when separated by countless miles. Dr. Dassler’s passion for students was unsurpassed, and he felt passionately that every single student deserved to have a teacher better than the very best teacher any of us ever had. Through this award, each year during the Teacher of the Year Gala, the Florida Department of Education will honor a Florida educator who personifies the values that made Dr. Dassler stand out among the crowd. On behalf of the Florida Education Foundation, the selected educator will be presented a check for $1,000.
Lindsay is a passionate middle school mathematics teacher who has earned the respect and admiration of her students and colleagues. She believes that our classrooms must create opportunities for students to develop that “successful” mindset. She has been recognized by the Department of Education as a High Impact Teacher for her influence on student learning. She is a wonderful example of how a creative, determined educator can make a genuine difference in students’ lives.
2019 CFEF INVESTED IN EXCELLENCE AWARD
HOLLIE MARIE CUNNINGHAM, MARION COUNTY
Presented by Cynthia Falardeau, Executive Director for the Education Foundation of Indian River County, and Maureen Wilt, Senior Education Program Manager Florida Power & Light Company
The CFEF “Invested in Excellence Award” is presented to a teacher who is having a tremendous impact on the lives of their students, their school, and their entire community.
Hollie teaches a variety of health occupations classes including medical skills, anatomy and electrocardiography. Her students have a 100% pass rate on state board exams and her seniors have a 100% placement rate in the health care field. As a practicing cardiothoracic nurse, she clearly knows her material. But she brings more than subject matter knowledge into her classroom. By fostering strong business and community partnerships, she cultivates real world learning opportunities for her students, coordinating internship and community service experiences.
2019 RON NIETO DIGITAL EDUCATOR AWARD
JEFFREY BECKER, LEE COUNTY
Presented by Kathy Hebda, Division of Florida Colleges Chancellor and Eve Nieto, wife of Ron Nieto.
This award was created in Ron’s memory, by his friends, family and coworkers at the Department of Education so that each year, a Florida Educator who excels in using technology in the classroom to positively impact student outcomes, could be recognized and honored.
Jeffrey teaches Digital Media Production to students at Island Coast High School and holds a compelling vision of a school where excellence prevails through his vibrant Digital Media Production program. The “product” of his TV production classroom is of the highest, professional quality. His confidence inspires students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to work diligently, believe in their limitless potential and ultimately create something worth celebrating.