Every year the Hillsborough Education Foundation, in partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools, presents the Excellence in Education Awards. This premiere event celebrates educators and school personnel who consistently bring forth their best efforts and utilize their talents to ensure the students they serve receive the best education possible.

This prestigious evening hosts 2,600 attendees representing the 266 schools in the Hillsborough County Public School District. At the ceremony nearly 700 nominees, 14 finalists, and ultimately 3 winners are honored in three categories. 



Congratulations to the winners of the 
2016 Excellence in Education Awards.


Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year

Presented by 

Angela McKinnon - Young Middle Magnet 

Angela McKinnon, an English Education major and graduate of the University of South Florida, has been with the Hillsborough County School District for 17 years. After 10 years as a high school English teacher, she transitioned into the world of guidance and counseling. As a middle school counselor Angela has impacted the lives of countless students by working with community partners The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Tampa Alumnae Chapter. She has created various counseling programs: Chit Chat City, Cocoa Book Club and Chit Chat Crochet, all sponsored through Donors Choose grants and community donations.






Instructional Support Employee of the Year

Presented By

Wayne Moore - Just Elementary

Officer Moore is a 17-year U.S. Army veteran and current Navy Reservist. He attended Troy University and Tallahassee Community College Law Enforcement Academy. He has been in the district since 2001 and is currently assigned to Just Elementary. He is the sponsor of the Gentleman’s Club where he provides mentoring and various opportunities for community service projects. His goal is to uplift our students to their fullest potential. He also coaches Legacy Preparatory Middle School football and baseball in the community. The staff has overwhelmingly voted him Instructional Support Employee of the Year seven times since the school’s opening. 




Teacher of the Year

Founded By 


Mary Beth Radigan - Plant High 

Mary Beth Radigan received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, majoring in special education. She has been teaching for 29 years, nine of those years in Hillsborough County. When asked why she has been teaching special education for 29 years, she replies, “The population of students I am able to work with accept people unconditionally. This lesson takes most people, and cultures, a lifetime to achieve. I’m grateful for having these students to help me understand this phenomenon.” Pawbucks Coffee Shop, Paw Prints Cheerleading, Organic and Hydroponic Gardening and Unified Special Olympics are all programs Ms. Radigan has helped introduce to Plant High School.      


Click here to view a full album of pictures from the 2016 Excellence in Education Awards.