The only thing missing was the red carpet as a parade of well-wishers honored the three finalists for St. Lucie Public Schools’ (SLPS) Teacher of the Year. On Monday, Sandra Oliveira (St. Lucie West Centennial High School), Heather Knab (Floresta Elementary), and Jeffrey L. Johnson, Sr. (Dale Cassens Education Complex) were surprised with the news, flowers, and balloons by a team from St. Lucie’s Education Foundation and School Board.
In his first year as the Superintendent of Schools, E. Wayne Gent commented that he could not be more proud to serve in any other District. “Our Teacher of the Year finalists embody the finest qualities of educational professionals. They represent the unique team who lead the learning in our classrooms and who have the talent to captivate and inspire our students because they believe in our students,” he said.
Locally, one of the three finalists will be selected as the SLPS Teacher of the Year during the Night of the Stars gala scheduled for February 20, 2016, at Lincoln Park Academy’s auditorium in Fort Pierce. This person will represent SLPS at the state level.
The Night of the Stars annual event is sponsored by the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County; The Morganti Group, Inc. is the sponsor of the local Teacher of the Year category. Brian Garcia, senior project executive and regional purchasing agent for Morganti as well as immediate past president of the Education Foundation said, “We look forward to this opportunity each year. Core to the mission of the Education Foundation is recognizing excellence in education and supporting teacher development.”
The State’s Teacher of the Year Program is a long-standing tradition that recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. The state finalist for The Florida Teacher of the Year also serves as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education and represents the Florida Department of Education and teachers throughout the state.