2020 Excellence in Awards Finalists at Awards Ceremony

Excellence in Education

We believe effective teachers are foundational to student success. Empowering teachers and school personnel with the support they need to be effective is crucial.

 Our annual Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards is a premier event that celebrates more than 700 outstanding educators and school personnel who consistently bring forth their best efforts and utilize their talents to ensure all students benefit from a high-quality education.

Every day, more than 24,000 teachers and staff in our district make a difference in students’ lives. They play a critical role in providing a welcoming academic environment where every student can thrive and reach their fullest potential in school and in life—and deserve this recognition.

Nominees from each school are selected across three categories:

Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year
Ida S. Baker was the first African-American to serve as Deputy Superintendent in the Florida Department of Education. She was known for her efforts to support diverse students and encourage academic success. In her honor, each school site may nominate an individual who embodies the pioneering spirit of Ida S. Baker by going above and beyond to meet the needs of our diverse student population.

Instructional Support Employee of the Year
Instructional support personnel are recognized for ensuring students and schools have the proper care and services available to promote an enriched and safe environment. Each school may nominate a person who supports the district through administration, transportation or health services. The winner of the award will go on to compete for the title at the state, and potentially, national levels.

Teacher of the Year
The Teacher of the Year award recognizes outstanding teachers who have been nominated by their school site for their dedication to the academic achievement of their students. The winner goes on to compete for Florida State Teacher of the Year honors, and potentially the national Teacher of the Year.

Our 2019 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Dakeyan “Dre” Graham was named 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year.

Congratulations to the winners of our 2020 Excellence in Education Awards.

2020 Excellence in Education Award Winners 

Middle-aged woman with red hair and green eyes, wearing green blouse, on blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation

Miranda Harwood
2020 Teacher of the Year

Young adult woman, smiling, wearing braids in hair, with blue floral blouse, on blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation

Keyada George
2020 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year

Angela White, middle-aged woman with red hair wearing glasses, red shirt under grey blazer, on blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation

Angela White
2020 Instructional Support Employee of the Year

2020 Teacher of the Year Finalists 

Samantha Hartman, young adult woman, wearing glasses, light brown hair with pink tint, wearing beige blazer on grey/blue background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Samantha Hartman

Young middle-aged woman with black braids, wearing glasses and floral blazer with red, blue and green roses, pearl necklace, on grey/blue background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Chanell Newell

Sommer SanFilippo, middle-aged woman with reddish/brown hair, wearing blue and white striped button up and black blazer on blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Sommer SanFilippo

Young adult woman with blonde/white hair and pink tint, smiling, wearing nose ring with blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Megan Thomas

2020 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists 

James Martinez, middle-aged man wearing tie and suit and checkered button up, blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


James Martinez

Older woman with brown/red hair, wearing white polka dot blouse with blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Heidi Meyer

Julie Snyder, young middle-aged woman, smiling with brown hair and bangs, purple blouse and shoulders showing, on blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Julie Snyder

2020 Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists 

Middle-aged woman with bun on head, silver hoop earrings and black blouse with blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Natosha Bagley

Middle-aged woman with blonde/brown hair, smiling, with brown eyes, blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Eliane Broche

Shirley Rosario, young woman with black hair and blue/grey background, Hillsborough Education Foundation


Shirley Rosario

In case you missed it or would like to see it again, you can watch our 2020 Excellence in Education Awards here.