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 600 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 underserved 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.

2024 Excellence in Education Award Winners 

Dr. Clayton Nylund
2024 Teacher of the Year

Dr. Ilfaut Joseph
2024 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year

Maria Ortiz
2024 Instructional Support Employee of the Year

2024 Teacher of the Year Finalists 

Barbara Zimmer
Bay Crest Elementary
English, Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Dr. Clayton Nylund
Blake High
Physics & Engineering Instructor

Jaime Beulah
Corr Elementary
Access Point K-2

Dr. Kimberly Feroli
Gaither High
Reading Teacher/Teacher Talent Developer

Milca Lebron
Woodbridge Elementary
5th Grade Math Teacher

2024 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists 

Angela Roberts
Farnell Middle
School Counselor

Cheryl Flohr
Hospital/Homebound Program
ESE Teacher

Dr. Ilfaut Joseph
Jennings Middle
Community Resource Teacher

Suzy Tkacik
Pride Elementary
Media Specialist

2024 Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists 

Billie Jo Nelson
Collins PK-8
Community School Officer

Bridget Wells
Robinson Elementary
ESE Paraprofessional

Joshua Fuentes
Sumner High
Head Custodian

Maria Ortiz
Temple Terrace Elementary