Celebrating the best teachers in Florida
If you’re among the many parents who recently saw their children off for the first day of the new school year, you totally get how important teachers are. After all, for the next nine months, they’re with our children for eight hours a day – charged with growing their minds and building them up academically.
Here at Florida Prepaid, we talk a lot about how teachers and parents prepare students academically for K-12 and beyond, while our college savings plans prepare students and their families financially for postsecondary education.
So we were thrilled to be part of the recent celebration of Florida’s best and brightest educators, who were honored through the 2020 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year program. Florida Prepaid has proudly sponsored this program for the past two years, because we value teachers more than any words in a blog can probably do justice. Teachers have such power to influence the trajectory of a student’s academic path, and to help them become their best selves.
Each July, the Teacher of the Year program brings the 74 district finalists representing all 67 counties to Orlando for several days of continuing education and much-deserved recognition for excellence in the classroom.
Dr. Dakeyan Chá Dré Graham, Director of Instrumental Studies at his alma mater C. Leon King High School in Hillsborough County, was named the 2020 Teacher of the Year from the five finalists. He had a huge cheering section at the Teacher of the Year Gala, and began his acceptance speech by singing a capella one of his favorite hymns. We only had to spend a few minutes with him to see the exuberance that he brings to his classroom.
Congratulations Dr. Graham! We look forward to all of the amazing things you will continue to bring to teachers and students throughout Florida.
The other four finalists in the running for Teacher of the Year were just as amazing and it was an honor to meet them all:
- Leigh Ann Norris, Hamilton County Elementary School, Hamilton County
- Dr. Nicole Mosblech, Vero Beach High School, Indian River County
- Megan Crombie, Florida State University School, Leon County
- Shane Swezey, Oak Park School, Sarasota County
Florida Prepaid will provide Dr. Graham a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship worth $8,000 to award to a student from his school. We did the same for the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joy Prescott. Check out her winning student here.
It’s our way of saying: You’ve done an amazing job of preparing your students academically for a postsecondary education; let us help you help them prepare financially.