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 around 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 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.

2023 Excellence in Education Award Winners 

Nicolette Barone
2023 Teacher of the Year

Muhammed Conteh
2023 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year

Chinovia Shedrick
2023 Instructional Support Employee of the Year

2023 Teacher of the Year Finalists 

Nicolette Barone
Oak Park Elementary
Fifth Grade Teacher

Josette Daley
Forest Hills Elementary
Third Grade Teacher

Elizabeth Hawley
Dowdell Middle
Media Specialist

Rebecca Oakeson
Kingswood Elementary
Pre-K Exceptional Student Education Teacher

Elizabeth Osborn
Alonso High
AP Psychology Teacher

2023 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists 

Muhammed Conteh
Plant High
JROTC Instructor

Sherly Gervais
Sumner High
Climate and Culture Resource Teacher

Lynda Taylor
Gaither High
Exceptional Student Education Teacher

Mary Valesano
Burney Elementary
Third Grade Teacher

2023 Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists 

Donreece Brown
Lopez ESE Center
Exceptional Student Education Paraprofessional

Pamela May
King High

Chinovia Shedrick
Memorial Middle
Exceptional Student Education Paraprofessional