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As the Florida Teacher of the Year, I have the opportunity to travel across the state and meet amazing EDUCATORS (teachers, students, parents, mentors). This role is so much more than giving speeches. I get to learn with you!   


The 2018 State Teachers of the Year met in Princeton, New Jersey at the CCSSO 2018 Next Steps Meeting. I had an incredible time with my STOY family learning new teaching practices, becoming change makers, leading for equity, reflecting on our work, and planning next steps.


My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful evening as guests of Commissioner Pam Stewart at the Florida College Leadership Dinner. J.C. Watts was the keynote speaker - what an inspiration!

First Lady's Books Out

I was thrilled to give First Lady Ann Scott's book, Ally and Jordi's Adventures Through Florida, to each of our seven feeder elementary schools. Our First Lady was very kind to write a personal handwritten message in each book.

LHS New Teacher Meeting

I had a ball welcoming our new teachers. In my talk, I encouraged them to: Collaborate! Communicate! Create! Care! and if needed, Chocolatize!

Back to School

I am excited to return to Leesburg High School to teach this year - once a Jacket, always a Jacket!

Backpack Fair

I had a fun evening helping with the Backpack Fair at Leesburg High School hosted by our amazing Education Foundation. We gave over 300 backpacks and school supplies to students in our area as well as offered other services.

MDCA School Year Kick-Off

Mt. Dora Christian Academy invited me to speak as they began their school year. I thoroughly enjoyed the songs of praise and prayer time to kick off the morning.

Spectrum In Focus Town Hall Meeting

Spectrum News invited me to voice my thoughts on the State of Education in Florida at their Town Hall Meeting In Focus in Sanford. There were many diverse opinions, but I was honored to speak on behalf of public education.

Lake County Commission Proclamation

The Lake County Board of Commissioners presented a beautiful proclamation to me at their board meeting. I am still so honored to represent my county and overwhelmed at their unwavering and enthusiastic support.

2019 FLTOY

Joy Prescott, who teaches at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School in Glades County, was named 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year. Joy is a passionate, knowledgeable, gifted teacher who will be an awesome representative of education in Florida!

2019 Gala Goodby Speech

I had the pleasure of sharing my story of growth mindset and mentoring my son as well as thanking the many who supported me as 2018 FLTOY at the 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year Gala.

2019 Roundtable/FTLN

What an incredible week of learning from the 2019 Florida District Teachers of the Year and the Florida Teachers Lead Network Alumni! I also had the pleasure of attending and assisting with the Roundtable Professional Development and Activities.


The 2018 Equip Conference recognized my husband and I for our work with the workshop and then applauded my service as 2018 Florida Teacher of the Year.

2019 Finalists Tallahassee Meeting

The 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalists are all worthy candidates. Each one brings such passion, expertise, and joy to teaching their students. I was thrilled to spend some time with them during their interview process in Tallahassee.

CFEF Banquet

Consortium of Florida Education Foundations celebrated the end of the school year with a beautiful night of sharing what district foundations are doing to impact student achievement and recognizing outstanding people and businesses for their extraordinary support! I appreciate all they do to help teachers and students!


I am very honored to be working with an amazing group of educators as part of the SELECT Task Force studying educational leadership development supported by the Wallace Foundation. We are examining the Florida vision, leadership standards, university education leadership programs, expected outcomes, etc. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a voice for teacher leadership, not just administrative leadership.

Tavares Middle End of Year Speech

I had such a good time at Tavares Middle School celebrating the end of a wonderful school year & the beginning of summer! The teachers (many friends, former colleagues, and even a former student) said they had the BEST year ever!

Florida House Proclamation Picture

Thank you Florida House Representative Larry Metz for presenting this gorgeous framed House Proclamation to me at the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce Breakfast. Such an honor to represent my amazing community who have supported and celebrated every step of my Florida Teacher of the Year journey!

Visit to Ms. Jones' Room - Holocaust

Mrs. Michele Jones, a fabulous teacher at Carver Middle School in Leesburg, invited me to sit in on their Skype talk with Holocaust Survivor Magda Herzberger. She is 92 yet spoke with complete clarity and emotion as she recanted her family's story of being captured and spending time in three concentration camps. The students and I will never forget her powerful words.

LHS Grauation Commencement Address

After three inches of rain fell on Leesburg High School, graduation had to be moved inside, but nothing could dampen our excitement! I was thrilled to give the final address to the amazing Class of 2018. I challenged them to write their life stories with kindness, authenticity, volunteerism, good attitudes and sincere gratitude.

Sunshine State STEM Scholars

Ninety-five of Florida's top STEM high school juniors were celebrated in Orlando. Florida universities and companies were invited to meet them, and I enjoyed speaking to them and listening to their proposals to solve some of Florida's current problems. These students were IMPRESSIVE!

Rimes Graduation

What a fun morning! I joined parents and friends at Rimes Elementary School to watch the PVK Graduation. Rimes has had our county's highest kindergarten reading scores for several years. I think the strong PVK has greatly impacted the school.

LHS Media Center Dedication

My community has continued to support me in ways I could not have even imagined! The School Board approved the media center being renamed in my honor, and the Lake County Education Foundation made it happen. I was so blessed by Commissioner Pam Stewart, Superintendent Diane Kornegay, and so many others being part of the event.

Summer Literacy Adventure Kick-Off

First Lady Ann Scott hosted these students at the Governor's Mansion as she kicked off the 2018 Summer Literacy Adventure. I was blessed to speak and then introduce our amazing First Lady. The students were so fun and engaged in learning about the Governor's Mansion, Florida state parks, Florida history and artifacts, and READING!

Lake Co Community Service Awards

The Chamber Alliance of Lake County honored community members with service awards. I was thrilled to accept the Education Award and to share the need for mentoring at-risk students in Lake County. Special night!

LHS Community Pep Rally Celebration

Leesburg High School celebrated student success at a Community Pep Rally! Our FFA and Gold Jefferson Award Team are both headed to nationals. Our boys basketball team won back to back state championships. The girls weightlifters brought home state medal, and SO MUCH MORE!

Washington, D.C.

The 2018 State Teachers of the Year convened in Washington, D.C. for PD, networking, meeting with our Congressmen's offices, and visits to many places! We had a great week. One highlight was being invited to the Vice President's home for a beautiful and warm reception by Second Lady Karen Pence, a former teacher. Vice President Mike Pence surprised us all with a visit!

Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work D

What a fun day! I had the joy of teaching Geometry lessons (Polygon STEM Challenge & Quadrilateral Escape Game) to the awesome children of the DOE staff for Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day.

2018 Lake County SREY, VOY, Business

It was a beautiful evening honoring the 2019 Lake County School Related Employee of Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Business Partner of the Year. What a blessing they are to our students and schools!


Chelsey McCurdy was selected Lake County 2019 Rookie Teacher of the Year. It was so inspiring to see all of the young teachers working so hard and being so passionate about teaching our kids!

Tavares Elem Read Across America

What a JOY to read to students at Tavares Elementary School for Read Across America Day. I am not sure who had more fun - the students or me!

Larry Metz

Our representative, Larry Metz, spoke very highly about Florida teachers and then honored me with a resolution in the Florida House of Representatives. I felt very proud to watch our legislators in action.

James Patterson

What a GREAT day! James Patterson donated $3 million and UF donated $5 million to the new UF Literacy Initiative to help all Florida students become proficient readers. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting this well-known author! Lucky me!

FTLN February Meeting

The Florida Teacher Lead Network had a face-to-face meeting in Tallahassee. It is such a joy to receive PD from New Teacher Center and have time to visit with these amazing DTOY teacher friends.

Chipola College

Chipola College hosted its 11th Annual Teacher Workshop. Many pre-service and practicing teachers attended. There were many wonderful learning opportunities and I was honored to close the day with a keynote address.

2019 Lake County TOY

What a thrill to be at home in Lake County to celebrate the new 2019 TOY, Jason Lancy! He is an amazing math teacher at Windy Hill Middle.

2019 POY & APOY

What an exciting day! Mr. Savage from Lee County was named 2019 POY and Ms. Ramsey from Orange County was 2019 APOY. It was so wonderful to be part of the ceremony and hear the amazing things our Florida administrators are doing.

NTOY Induction

The class of 2018 State Teachers of the Year met in California for several days of networking and learning from each other and amazing speakers, such as 2017 NTOY, Syndey Chaffee, previous NTOYs & STOYs, CCSSO staff, Google experts, Sal Khan, Andy Goodman, and more! The discussions and friendships became very deep very quickly.


I was so inspired by one of my Lake County teachers, Tamara McCray. She shared her remarkable teacher story at the very informative AVID & ETS Family Day sponsored by Lake-Sumter State College.

Putnam County TOY/SREY Banquet

Congratulations to Catelyn Boze! She was named 2019 Putnam County TOY. Also, Alice Keith was named 2019 Putnam County SREY. Both are outstanding representatives!

Celebrate Literacy Week Awards

The Celebrate Literacy Week Awards showcased the top three finishers in elementary, middle, and high schools. The hard work and talent the students put into their Find Yourself in a Book projects were phenomenal.

Ms. Donne's Pre-School

I had a ball with this group kicking off Celebrate Literacy Week at Ms. Donne's Pre-School.

State Board Meeting 1/17

The Florida Prepaid College Foundation announced that they will be the presenting sponsor for the Florida Teacher of the Year Program. So grateful for their support of celebrating and elevating teachers.

Polk County PD

I was thrilled to present with 2015 & 2017 FLTOYs, Christie Bassett & Jessica Solano, at their first PD meeting of Leading from the Classroom in Polk County.

Volusia County TOY Banquet

I had a great time celebrating with and speaking to the remarkable teachers in Volusia County. Congratulations to Nicole Grebosz, 2019 TOY! Conversing with Jason Kester, 2018 TOY, was a blast!

Columbia County TOY Reception

The Columbia County TOY Reception was a beautiful celebration, and I was so happy to see Amy Roberts selected as their 2019 TOY and spend time with Robin Heeke, their 2018 TOY. Amazing Educators!


I was blessed to spend my afternoon with two of my cousins and the wonderful leadership team at Tavares Elementary. I gave the afternoon keynote and stayed to learn what authentic literacy looks like in an elementary school classroom.


Its was great fun to be back in my classroom giving Growth Mindset & Mentoring PD at LHS.

FSU SCATTER Honors Graduation

I was so impressed to learn about the College of Education SCATTER Honors Program. These graduates are ready to teach! So proud to speak at their ceremony!

Leesburg Chamber of Commerce

I was honored by the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce with this award. My community has continued to celebrate and support me. I am thankful and proud to be a Leesburg native.

Kate's Classroom

Watching Florida Finalist Kate Fiori in action is exhilarating and exhausting. She is so energetic and keeps her students engaged every minute! She moves seamlessly from one thought-provoking activity to the next.


Had a great day with these amazing TOYs discussing more ways to empower teacher leaders and mentor new teachers!

Visit With Vanessa Ko

I visited Palm Harbor Middle School and observed some outstanding math instruction by Vanessa Ko! She incorporated many cooperative structures and it was evident her "kids" adored her! I had a ball being in her math class today!

St. Leo University Kappa Delta Pi

What a great opportunity to meet the honors education students at St. Leo University and help with their induction into the Alpha Delta Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi.

Distinquished Educator's Recognition

I was so happy to meet the Principal of the Year, Dr. Rachel Shelley, and A.P. of the Year, Kelly Stedman. Both are amazing administrators! What a wonderful day!

Lake County 2019 TOY Orientation

I was excited to meet the new school teachers of the year for Lake County and lead the orientation. I challenged them to grow through this experience. Let's have back-to-back FLTOY from Lake County!

Governor's Summit

What an incredible experience! The district Teachers of the Year gathered in Tallahassee for a roundtable discussion with Governor Rick Scott, enjoyed a reception at the Governor's Mansion, learned during professional development sessions, and renewed friendships!

Teacher of the Year Orientation

I had a fabulous day meeting the amazing school TOYs for Duval County and speaking at their orientation. Jacksonville is doing a great job celebrating and elevating teachers and empowering teacher leaders!

Hillcrest School

I was so happy to visit Hillcrest School to observe Florida Finalist Mr. Diego Fuentes making miracles happen. The staff and students were always smiling, definitely a piece of heaven!

Community Leadership Dinner

We are so proud to have had the opportunity to have dinner with the gracious, talented, and lovely First Lady Ann Scott. It was an evening we will never forget. The testimonies of the guests’ community service made us both so proud to be Floridians!


Great day! DeEdra Farley and Jason Fulmer shared tools for lesson planning, examining student work, scaffolding content, differentiating instruction, and more to the 2018 Florida Lead Network teachers in Orlando.

Eagles Educate Annual Conference

I had such an enlightening and exciting morning, sharing and learning with the Florida Gulf Coast University faculty and students!

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