Five outstanding teachers today were named finalists for the 2013 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year. They are:
Scott Cason, Mandarin High School
Cameron Foley, Ramona Boulevard Elementary
Blair Nolan, First Coast High School
Apryl Shackelford, Northwestern Middle
Robyn White, West Jacksonville Elementary
"The finalists have been selected not only for being superb teachers but great role models, leaders, mentors and visionaries," said Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. "It is with great honor that we commend these educators for their tireless efforts in building our country's future leaders. I wish them all the best."
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 from every public school in Duval County, and then from 15 semi-finalists. The winner will be named 2013 Florida Blue Teacher of the Year at the EDDY Awards on March 14 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at eddyawardsjax.org.
The program is a joint venture of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. Over the last five 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.
"The community is proud to honor these accomplished educators," said Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. "Participants in the ONE by ONE campaign have said that recognizing outstanding teachers and elevating the profession is a top priority and these teachers are the best of the best."
"These finalists represent great teaching that can be found across Duval county in our public schools," said Deborah Gianoulis Heald, President and CEO of the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. "We appreciate their intelligence, love of learning and commitment to developing the children they teach to be tomorrow's citizens."