The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding teachers who have been nominated as the Teacher of the Year for their school site. All schools in the district are invited to nominate one teacher at their site whom they feel is the most well-rounded and professional. Finalists are selected by a district committee and individually interviewed. One winner is then selected for the prestigious honor of being named Hillsborough County's Teacher of the Year. The winner of this award goes on to compete for Florida State Teacher of the Year honors, and potentially the national Teacher of the Year.
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Congratulations to our 2014 Teacher of the Year finalists!
Luis Alvarez, Leto High
Luis Alvarez earned his Bachelor of Music Education in 2007 and his Masters of Music in 2009 from the University of South Florida. During his graduate studies, he served as a Teaching Assistant in the Trombone Studio and Jazz Department. Mr. Alvarez has served as the Director of Bands at Leto High School in Tampa, FL for the past 5 years. During his time there, the band program has tripled in membership and has consistently received superior ratings at Marching and Concert Band Music Performance Assessments. In 2013, the Leto High School Band Program received the first superior rating in the school’s history at the State Concert Band Music Performance Assessment and also received the Community Award from the Grammy Foundation.
Karen Barmore, Gorrie Elementary
Karen Barmore is an art educator who has inspired the acquisition of knowledge at all levels, from Kindergarten to University. She has been teaching at Gorrie Elementary for 19 years. Karen holds a B.S. in Studio Art as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Art Education, all from Florida State University. Karen is an enthusiastic advocate for the arts outside of the classroom as well. As a Nationally Board Certified Teacher she learned the importance of collaborating with and mentoring hundreds of fellow educators by leading multiple workshops at elementary schools, the county, and Florida conferences. She currently serves on the Hillsborough County Art Curriculum Writing Team, the Art Assessment Writing Team, and The Board of Hillsborough Art Education Association and has published several articles in a national art education journal.
Reagan Lawrence, Hunter's Green Elementary
Dedicated, creative, and eager to become a teacher, Reagan moved from Baltimore, Maryland eight years ago to the Tampa area where she left all of her family behind and began her teaching career. As an only child, moving to Florida was her dream because shoveling snow was NOT one of her favorite things to do. She began her journey determined to teach with a passion for education and commitment to optimizing student and school success. She holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Stevenson University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Nova University. She now enjoys the warm sunny days teaching and only visits MD when there is no snow to shovel!
Amanda Morin, Walker Middle Magnet
Amanda Morin was a student/athlete and product of Hillsborough County, growing up in Tampa and graduating from Gaither High School. She earned a B.A. in Secondary Social Science Education from USF and started her five year teaching career at Benito Middle School as a History teacher. She is also certified in Science, having taught multiple grades at both Farnell and Webb Middle schools. She was nominated as a PRISM Teacher of Promise in Science at both schools. She currently teaches at Walker Middle Magnet, where she taught History and Science and now teaches 7th grade Civics. She serves as the Model United Nations Club sponsor, Data Lead, Edsby Teacher Champion, International Garden caretaker, and Earth Day coordinator. She also serves on the Literacy Leadership Team. She strives to help students find success in learning each and every day.
Leronya Vaughn-Dunmore, Sheehy Elementary
Leronya Vaughn Dunmore is a visionary who believes 21st century youth must be instructed through an innovative high interest approach. She is a proud graduate and third generation educator of the Hillsborough County School District. Her post secondary education includes a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Her passion for education continues to intensify after twenty-seven years in the teaching profession. As a fifth grade teacher at Sheehy Elementary School, she executes a plethora of STEM-focused initiatives such as robotics, virtual labs and Skype in the Classroom. She recently organized the 2013 LEGO Education Showcase for her school and community. Her dedication and commitment to excellence in education positively impacts youth and fuels their desire to learn.
Congratulations to the 2014 Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year!
Patrick Boyko, Jefferson High School
Patrick Boyko graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s in History. While there he worked closely with students as a Resident Assistant and then full time in the Residence Services Department. He began teaching in 2007 at Thomas Jefferson High School where he still teaches today. His classes have included courses such as World Religions, The Vietnam War, The Holocaust and recently Wars of the 20th Century. He is known for his creativity, imagination and critical thinking in the classroom, having created multiple unique educational worlds where the students do not just learn the curriculum, they live it. He coaches Varsity Swimming and Tennis and sponsors the JHS Reading Club as a member of the Reading Leadership Team. Patrick treasures his students and challenges them not only to be academically successful but also as future responsible adults.