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The Florida Teacher of the Year Program celebrates the women and men who have dedicated their lives to educating future generations. Each year, Florida’s school districts have the opportunity to 74 teachers as District Teachers of the Year. These top educators are selected for many reasons including extraordinary student gains, community involvement, teacher leadership and instructional practices. Five District Teachers of the Year are named Teacher of the Year Finalists and, from those, one statewide winner is selected as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

Meet the Florida teachers who were chosen for the honor of Teacher of the Year Finalist. 

2019 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalists


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4th Grade Mathematics
Pemayetv Emahakv Charter


“I not only want to empower my students to become better learners, but to be better people.”

Read more about Joy Prescott here. 

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3rd and 4th Grade Gifted
Crystal Lake Elementary


"I put a lot of pride in how I develop relationships and help students grow as people.”

Read more about Patrick Farley here.

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Social Science
Alonzo and Tracy Mourning
Senior High School


“The only way to create the future we need is to give our students the ability to launch themselves farther than they ever dreamed. Advocating for educational equity and access will help convert this dream into a reality for students throughout our state.”

Read more about Molly Winters Diallo here.

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Instructional Mathematics Coach
Idyllwilde Elementary


“I am inspirired when I have a collaborative relationship, make a connection, and create positive change in a teacher's technique that is reflected in the classroom.”

Read more about Samantha Neff here.

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Computer Science
Timber Creek High School


“I teach because I want to make a difference in this world.”

Read more about Kyle Dencker here.

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2018 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalists

 2018 Finalists: Michael Miller, Kate Fiori, Vanessa Ko, Tammy Jerkins, and Diego Fuentes

2018 Finalists: Michael Miller, Kate Fiori, Vanessa Ko, Tammy Jerkins, and Diego Fuentes

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4th Grade
Vero Beach Elementary

"At the beginning of the year, my students lacked academic confidence. Through individualized feedback, positive reinforcement and chunking, my class has shown tremendous growth." - Kate Fiori

Click HERE to hear from Kate.


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Music - Exceptional Student Education
Hillcrest School

"In addition to measurable data, the happiness as indicated by the smiles and laughter that these exceptional people give us every day is the greatest indicator that me as an educator and my school are doing something right." - Diego Fuentes

Click HERE to hear from Diego.

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Algebra and Avid
Palm Harbor Middle

"As teachers, we prepare and plan to create experiences that may forever change the lives of our students. We intentionally craft a learning moment that can spark an interest which will change the trajectory of a students’ life for the good." - Vanessa Ko

Click HERE to hear from Vanessa.

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5th Grade Mathematics
Kissimmee Elementary

"I believe that all students have the potential to be successful and to show learning gains through high expectations, data driven instruction and the relationships that teachers take the time to create with their students."  - Michael Miller

Click HERE to hear from Michael.