Commissioner Stewart Names Orange County Educator Kyle Dencker Teacher of the Year Finalist
~ Dencker receives $15,000 and chance to compete for statewide Teacher of the Year ~
Orlando, Fla., May 8, 2018 – Today, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart surprised Kyle Dencker in his classroom with a check for $15,000 and the news that he is one of five Teacher of the Year finalists. The statewide Teacher of the Year will be announced at the annual Florida Teacher of the Year Gala July 13 in Orlando. Each district’s Teacher of the Year will receive $10,000, and the state winner will receive a total of $20,000.
“Kyle Dencker left his job as a software developer to share his highly specialized knowledge and experience with Florida students, and it is clear he made the right decision,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Dencker has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring all of his students know they can succeed in STEM fields and ensuring they have the foundation necessary to accomplish their academic and career goals. I am honored to celebrate him as one of five 2019 Teacher of the Year finalists.”
Dencker began working at Timber Creek High School in 2009, where he has taught more than 20 different courses and made it his mission to increase participation of underrepresented subgroups in computer science classes. As the Career and Technical Education Department Lead, he has played a critical role in developing and expanding computer science courses at Timber Creek High School, where the computer science program has grown to include more than 380 students.
In 2013 and 2017, he received the National Center of Women and Informational Technology Educator Award for his work in inspiring female students to take STEM courses. Dencker has also served in various roles including the district’s Java Development and Programming Professional Learning Community Lead, mentor for the College Board and Director of the Florida High School Programming Series. Outside of the classroom, Dencker trains educators across the country on ways they can impact their students’ lives through the world of computer science.
This year’s five finalists were chosen from more than 198,700 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 Florida Teacher of the Year Program is made possible by generous sponsors: Florida Prepaid, State Farm, Florida Blue, Telemundo, Helios Education Foundation, Wells Fargo, Publix, Florida Power and Light Company, Florida Lottery, Gulf Power and Herff Jones.
For more about the Florida Teacher of the Year program, please visit Florida Teachers Lead.