Today, during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet at the Florida State Fair, Governor Rick Scott recognized eleven outstanding educators with the Governor’s Shine Award. The Shine Award is presented to teachers and administrators in Florida who make significant contributions to the field of education.
Governor Scott said, “It’s great to see Florida educators committed to providing every student with the opportunity to get a quality education in our state. We will continue our work to ensure they have the tools they need to help their students be successful in the classroom.”
The following educators were presented with the Governor’s Shine Award:
Christina Arenth, Orange County – Christina Arenth is a veteran educator with 33 years’ experience, with the last 29 at Lake Sybella Elementary School where she teaches Pre-K deaf/hard of hearing. Christina is a National Board Certified teacher and is the 2017 Orange County District Teacher of the Year.
Eileen Badger, Sumter County – Eileen Badger is in her 14th year of teaching and is current teaching Fifth Grade Math and Science at Wildwood Elementary School. Eileen also serves as the school’s math coach and media specialist, and is the 2018 Sumter County District Teacher of the Year.
Lois Horn-Diaz, Polk County – Lois Horn-Diaz teaches K-5 Gifted Education at R. Bruce Wagner Elementary School in Lakeland. She has been in the education profession for 15 years has been teaching for the past seven years. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, Lois was a school psychologist. She is the recipient of the 2017 Florida Association for Gifted Children State Award for Creative Teaching Excellence and is the 2017 Polk County District Teacher of the Year.
Tiffany Howland, Hernando County – Tiffany Howland has been teaching for six years, and teaches Algebra 1 and Pre-Algebra at D.S. Parrott Middle School in Brooksville. She is the 2017 Hernando County District Teacher of the Year.
Vanessa Ko, Pinellas County – Vanessa Ko teaches Mathematics and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Palm Harbor Middle School, where she has been teaching for 14 years. Vanessa is the Pinellas Middle School Mathematics Teacher of the Year, 2017 Pinellas County District Teacher of the Year, and a 2018 state Teacher of the Year finalist.
Nicholas Leduc, Manatee County – Nicholas Leduc has been teaching for 21 years, with the last six at Braden River Elementary, where he teaches fourth grade. He is the 2017 Manatee County District Teacher of the Year.
Tiffany Oliver, Hillsborough County – Tiffany Oliver is a 15-year teaching veteran at Robinson High School in Tampa, where she teaches International Baccalaureate Biology. Tiffany has been recognized as the the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Lignell AwardOutstanding STEM Teacher of the Year, 2015-16 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Central Florida Science Teacher of the Year, 2017 Florida Association of Science Teachers Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year and is a 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, Florida state finalist.
Robert Patterson, Pasco County – Robert Patterson has been teaching for nine years, and teaches 7th grade Math at Cypress Creek Middle/High School in Wesley Chapel. He is the 2017 Pasco County District Teacher of the Year.
Katie Riemenschneider, Lee County – Katie Riemenschneider is in her 23rd year of teaching. She currently serves as the Heights Elementary International Baccalaureate (IB) World School’s IB Coordinator and teaches lessons to students in grades K-5. Katie serves on the district’s Advisory Committee to the Superintendent, is a member of the Florida Lead Network, and is the 2017 Lee County District Teacher of the Year.
Emily Sless, Seminole County – Emily Sless is a skilled educator with 17 years of experience, and currently teaches fourth grade at Highlands Elementary School in Winter Springs. Emily is the 2017 Seminole County District Teacher of the Year.
Jennifer Willis, Sarasota County – Jennifer Willis has 12 years’ experience as an educator, and teaches first grade gifted/advanced at Phillipi Shores IB World School in Sarasota. Jennifer was the 2014 Manatee County District Teacher of the Year, 2014 Congressional Teacher Award, and is the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching state finalist