Kirby Smith Middle School teacher Kifimbo Holloway-Parnell is  2015 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year

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Holloway-Parnell, was recognized as an exemplary educator who is continuously exploring new ways to connect her students with new experiences and hands-on projects, helping them use their voices to seek answers about society's imprint in their lives. Her students conducted research at Kingsley Plantation, producing documentaries that led them to compete and defend their research in state-level competitions.Kifimbo Holloway-Parnell was named the 2015 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year tonight at the  24th Annual EDDY Awards. Holloway-Parnell, a language arts teacher at Kirby Smith Middle School, was selected from five outstanding finalists.

As the Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year, Holloway-Parnell will go on to compete for the state-wide title.  

The Teacher of the Year program is a venture of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and it is more than just one day of celebration. It includes the Wells Fargo Excellence In Teaching Seminar Series, which will make the best practices and live classroom demonstration of eight outstanding Teachers of the Year accessible to all teachers in Duval County. The Rotary Clubs of Duval County - the organization that founded the EDDY Awards tradition - provides individual cash awards and establishes five funds at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund for each of the finalists to use for a project at their school.

"The community is inspired by the exceptional educators honored tonight at the EDDY Awards," said Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. "We look forward to all of the great things that teacher leaders throughout Duval County will do in the coming year."

Like every Teacher of the Year, Holloway-Parnell will join the Jacksonville Public Education Fund Board of Directors as an ex-officio member for the next year until the 2016 Teacher of the Year is named.

"Choosing a winner from these five finalists had to be a difficult task," said Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. "Our goal of developing great educators and leaders is strengthened by the dedication and passion for educating our students these teachers have demonstrated. They are an inspiration to us all."