Coral Springs, Florida – On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded an Eagle Ridge Elementary School teacher with a $15,000 bonus for being named a Teacher of the Year finalist.
A fourth-grade teacher at the Coral Springs school, Seema Naik, was one of five finalists who received the bonus from DeSantis at Florida’s annual Teacher of the Year Conference in Orlando.
“Florida is the education state not just because we have good policies, but because we have great teachers who go above and beyond for their students,” DeSantis said of the bonuses. “It was great to join some amazing teachers today and to show our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice. We will continue to invest in our schools and educators while putting policies in place that improve outcomes for students.”
Melissa Matz is a seventh-grade math teacher at Lakeside Junior High School in Clay County.
Trinity Whittington a fourth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Bell Elementary School in Gilchrist County.
Jennifer Jaso, a social studies teacher at Sarasota Middle School.
Deelah Jackson, a fourth-grade teacher at Samoset Elementary School in Manatee County.
From nearly 185,000 public school teachers throughout the state, the five finalists were chosen for Teacher of the Year.
According to the governor’s office, 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 winner will be announced Thursday. They will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education. McAuliffe was a teacher and astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.