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Five finalists named for 2014 Duval County Teacher of the Year

Five outstanding teachers today were named finalists for the 2014 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year. They are:

Iris Caro, Central Riverside Elementary School

Amanda Dyal, Southside Middle School

Joseph Frencl, Atlantic Coast High School

Jessica von Eiff, Westview K-8

Carol Wright, Mt. Herman Exceptional Center

"Each one of the teachers selected has gone above and beyond to have a positive, long-lasting impact on Duval County's students in the classroom and in everyday life experiences. I am so proud to have so many educators in the district who are dedicated to developing the whole child," said Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. 

The finalists were surprised in their classrooms on a Friday morning "prize patrol" with the superintendent. They were selected from the Teachers of the Year nominated public schools in Duval County, and then from 15 semi-finalists. The winner will be named 2014 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year at the EDDY Awards on March 12 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at eddyawardsjax.org.

"The EDDY Awards represent the community's commitment to honoring great teachers," said Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. "We are so excited to share the stories of these exceptional educators, and we look forward to showcasing their talent, passion and leadership in the community over the next year."

The program is a joint venture of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. Over the last several years, it has evolved beyond an awards ceremony to build a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the community and who work to improve our schools, student performance and the teaching profession. The program is entirely funded by private philanthropic support. The EDDY Awards were originally founded by the Rotary Clubs of Duval County.

"Teachers have relationships with students and care about them as learners and unique individuals.  We celebrate the best of the teaching profession who make all other professions possible," said Deborah Gianoulis Heald, President and CEO of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. 

Click here to view photos of the "Prize Patrol!"