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Teacher of the Year - five finalists announced! (Photos)

Meet the five finalists for Teacher of the Year Kate

This was a fun morning!
 
As classes got under way, I got to tag along with Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals and EDDY Awards coordinators Nancy Lantinberg and Jodie Leach as they went on "prize patrol" to surprise the five teachers who have been selected as finalists for the 2012 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year. The five were chosen from 15 semi-finalists after interviews with the District Selection Committee.
 
Teachers of the year from 163 schools were nominated, and from them, 15 semi-finalists were chosen based on their nomination packet, which included information about their professional development, classroom practices and knowledge of current educational topics.
 
They are:
 
Christy J. Constande, fourth-grade teacher at Chets Creek Elementary
Cindy Fitch, alternative education teacher at Oak Hill Elementary
Kate Houston, language arts teacher at First Coast High School
Lauren Martin, fourth-grade teacher at Pinedale Elementary
Scott Sowell, science teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High
 
They will all be present at the EDDY Awards on Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, when the district winner will be announced. The Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year will then go on to compete for the state-wide title. (In case you're wondering, the program is a joint venture of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership.) For more information about the finalists and to buy tickets, go to http://www.eddyawardsjax.org.
 
Find out more about how the Teacher of the Year program has evolved over the last two years.
 
In the next post, I'll introduce you to the five finalists - and what makes them so special.
 
But first, a few more moments from this morning. First up, Cindy Fitch hugging Pratt-Dannals. She was beyond thrilled because she taught the Superintendent's kids when they were in school many years ago!
 
Teacher of the Year - five finalists announced! (Photos)
Our media partner, Action News, was there for each moment and interviewed every finalist. Here's the story and here's Christy Constande being interviewed.
Teacher of the Year - five finalists announced! (Photos)1
School Board Vice Chairman Fel Lee was nice enough to join us for the Chets Creek visit!
Teacher of the Year - five finalists announced! (Photos) 3
I enjoyed the door to Cindy Fitch's classroom at Oak Hill Elementary.
Teacher of the Year - five finalists announced! (Photos)2

-- Deirdre Conner