Hillsborough 'Teacher of the Year' to be named Thursday - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough 'Teacher of the Year' to be named Thursday

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Hillsborough County will name its Teacher of the Year on Thursday.

The Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough County Public Schools will name the 2014 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year, and Teacher of the Year winners during the 2014 Excellence in Education Awards, Thursday, February 20, 2014.

The ceremony will take place at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa.  It begins at 7:00 p.m.  News Channel 8's own Gayle Sierens will emcee.

Fifteen top-notch educators were chosen by their peers out of 710 nominees and will be honored. 

Here are the finalists for Teacher of the Year:

Luis Alvarez, Leto High
Biography: "Luis Alvarez earned his Bachelor of Music Education in 2007 and his Masters of Music in 2009 from the University of South Florida.  During his graduate studies, he served as a Teaching Assistant in the Trombone Studio and Jazz Department.  Mr. Alvarez has served as the Director of Bands at Leto High School in Tampa, FL for the past 5 years.  During his time there, the band program has tripled in membership and has consistently received superior ratings at Marching and Concert Band Music Performance Assessments. In 2013, the Leto High School Band Program received the first superior rating in the school’s history at the State Concert Band Music Performance Assessment and also received the Community Award from the Grammy Foundation." (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation)

Karen Barmore, Gorrie Elementary
Biography: "Karen Barmore is an art educator who has inspired the acquisition of knowledge at all levels, from Kindergarten to University.  She has been teaching at Gorrie Elementary for 19 years. Karen holds a B.S. in Studio Art as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Art Education, all from Florida State University. Karen is an enthusiastic advocate for the arts outside of the classroom as well. As a Nationally Board Certified Teacher she learned the importance of collaborating with and mentoring hundreds of fellow educators by leading multiple workshops at elementary schools, the county, and Florida conferences. She currently serves on the Hillsborough County Art Curriculum Writing Team, the Art Assessment Writing Team, and The Board of Hillsborough Art Education Association and has published several articles in a national art education journal." (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation)

Patrick Boyko, Jefferson High
Biography: Patrick Boyko graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s in History.  While there he worked closely with students as a Resident Assistant and then full time in the Residence Services Department.  He began teaching in 2007 at Thomas Jefferson High School where he still teaches today.  His classes have included courses such as World Religions, The Vietnam War, The Holocaust and recently Wars of the 20th Century.  He is known for his creativity, imagination and critical thinking in the classroom, having created multiple unique educational worlds where the students do not just learn the curriculum, they live it.  He coaches Varsity Swimming and Tennis and sponsors the JHS Reading Club as a member of the Reading Leadership Team. Patrick treasures his students and challenges them not only to be academically successful but also as future responsible adults.  (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation)  

Reagan Lawrence, Hunter's Green Elementary
Biography: Dedicated, creative, and eager to become a teacher, Reagan moved from Baltimore, Maryland eight years ago to the Tampa area where she left all of her family behind and began her teaching career. As an only child, moving to Florida was her dream because shoveling snow was NOT one of her favorite things to do. She began her journey determined to teach with a passion for education and commitment to optimizing student and school success. She holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Stevenson University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Nova University. She now enjoys the warm sunny days teaching and only visits MD when there is no snow to shovel!  (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation

Amanda Morin, Walker Middle Magnet
Biography:  Amanda Morin was a student/athlete and product of Hillsborough County, growing up in Tampa and graduating from Gaither High School.  She earned a B.A. in Secondary Social Science Education from USF and started her five year teaching career at Benito Middle School as a History teacher.  She is also certified in Science, having taught multiple grades at both Farnell and Webb Middle schools.  She was nominated as a PRISM Teacher of Promise in Science at both schools. She currently teaches at Walker Middle Magnet, where she taught History and Science and now teaches 7th grade Civics.  She serves as the Model United Nations Club sponsor, Data Lead, Edsby Teacher Champion, International Garden caretaker, and Earth Day coordinator. She also serves on the Literacy Leadership Team.  She strives to help students find success in learning each and every day.  (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation

Leronya Vaughn-Dunmore, Sheehy Elementary
Biography:  Leronya Vaughn Dunmore is a visionary who believes 21st century youth must be instructed through an innovative high interest approach. She is a proud graduate and third generation educator of the Hillsborough County School District. Her post secondary education includes a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Her passion for education continues to intensify after twenty-seven years in the teaching profession. As a fifth grade teacher at Sheehy Elementary School, she executes a plethora of STEM-focused initiatives such as robotics, virtual labs and Skype in the Classroom. She recently organized the 2013 LEGO Education Showcase for her school and community. Her dedication and commitment to excellence in education positively impacts youth and fuels their desire to learn.  (Source: Hillsborough Education Foundation

To see the nominees for Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year and Instructional Support Employee of the Year, check out the Hillsborough Education Foundation's website.


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