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2023 Florida Teach of the Year Finalists

Meet Florida’s 5 Teacher of the Year Finalists


If there is anything the past few years have proven, it is the value of teachers in the classroom. If you were a parent of a school-age student starting in 2020, you likely gained a next-level appreciation for what teachers do each day.

And if you have even one teacher from your school days whose impact still sits with you, then you are the best proof that teachers matter when it comes to shaping how we think and move into the real world.

One of our greatest joys each year at Florida Prepaid is serving as the presenting sponsor of the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program. Each year, five finalists are named from among the state’s 74 school districts. This month, one of the five will be selected as the 2024 Florida Teacher of the Year – serving for the next year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

We recently met the five finalists, and they each shared why they love being teachers. Congratulations and thank you to:

Adrianna Swearingen, media specialist at Northside Elementary School in Bay County: “My favorite part of teaching is seeing the kids light up when they learn something new, or find a new favorite book.”

Kimberly Crowder, reading intervention teacher at Hamilton County Elementary School in Hamilton County: “The thing I love about teaching the most is the impact I get to have on the lives of my community members. They’re all my family.”

Sarah Idsardi, fourth grade teacher at North Wauchula Elementary School in Hardee County: “My favorite part of teaching is reading aloud to my students and just getting to share stories with them.”

Jennie Goffe, agricultural teacher at Clewiston High School in Hendry County: “My favorite thing about being a teacher is just the relationships I get to build with students and the experiences I get to offer them.”

Kayla Jackson, fifth grade math and science teacher at Memorial Elementary School in Highlands County: “I love teaching because every day is a new adventure!”

We are inspired by these five finalists and all Florida teachers, who are preparing students academically while we help their families prepare financially for college. The 2024 Florida Teacher of the Year will be named on July 20 in Orlando.

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