On Wednesday, one Manatee County School District educator and one support staffer will walk home with $5,000 and the honor of being named the district’s educator or support employee of the year.
The school district will hold its annual Excellence in Education Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Manatee Technical College’s main campus. Superintendent Diana Greene will name the Educator of the Year and the Support Employee of the Year.
“It is a way to recognize and showcase the special qualities and talents of people who have dedicated their careers to educating the children of Manatee County,” Greene said.
Each district work site nominated one educator and one support staff nominee, and eight nominees (four in each category) emerged from a pool of 43 semifinalists. A panel of judges composed of peers, educators, business partners and administrators selected the eight finalists.
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Wednesday’s ceremony will include performances from district students, and the two winners will receive $5,000 checks from Suncoast Credit Union.
The educator winner will advance to the Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year competition, and the support employee winner will advance to the Florida School Related Employee of the Year.
Educator of the Year nominees:
Joseph Baker, 6th Grade social studies teacher at Buffalo Creek Middle
Josephine Johnson, kindergarten teacher at Tara Elementary
Nicholas Leduc, 4th grade teacher at Braden River Elementary
Courtney Walker, 2nd grade teacher at Bashaw Elementary
Support Employee of the Year nominees
Michael Brackman, teacher aide, ESOL at Johnson Middle
Alfonzo Cruz, teacher aide, ESOL at Lee Middle
Valerie Olmstead-Dugan, computer information specialist for Food and Nutrition Services
Jennifer Polson, senior school secretary at Wakeland Elementary