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.


2018 Excellence in Education Awards Winners:


Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year

Presented by 


Christine T. Campbell, Van Buren Middle 
Christine T. Campbell has a strong Christian faith and is a devoted wife and mother. Mrs. Campbell received her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Florida. She is a veteran and has served in the United States Army. Mrs. Campbell has been a School Social Worker in HCPS for the last 7 years. Her caring for her children and “doing what is in the best interest of each child” motivates her daily to excel in meeting the needs of her students and community. Mrs. Campell started an on-site Community Clothing Closet and has established community partners to provide students with school supplies and holiday food assistance. She also encourages student attendance through motivational groups. Mrs. Campbell’s commitment to student support is seen in her involvement in her district and department – she is co-creator and facilitator of the pilot program called Social Work Attendance Team (S.W.A.T.), a Professional Learning Community geared toward increasing districtwide graduation rate.



Instructional Support Employee of the Year

Miriam Velez-Hernandez, Dover Elementary 
Mrs. Velez-Hernandez graduated from high school in 1971. As a paraprofessional at Dover Elementary School since 1993, she instantly fell in love with both children and families and believed in them before they believed in themselves. She is committed to helping ESOL students achieve their potential and has been instrumental in raising funds in times of crisis as well as for providing stimulating experiences, from arranging for free funeral services for parents to free bus transportation for a Disney World dream trip. She is involved in the community and has served as Nativity Church’s Hispanic Youth Group Director and has assisted with Relay for Life, fall festivals and Volunteer Appreciation events. Finally, her motivation for these incredible accomplishments is, “Whatever I do for these children today will be reflected in their future.” 




Teacher of the Year

Founding Award Sponsor 


Bonnie Bresnyan, Lewis Elementary 
Bonnie is blessed with the talent of teaching and has made a difference in the lives of young people for 31 years, 20 of those in Hillsborough County. She earned her BA in Education at Florida Atlantic University and completed her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Tennessee Technological University.   Among her accomplishments are: National Board Certification, 2009 HDC Praeceptor Award winner, 2006-07 Ida S. Baker Distinguished Educator of the Year finalist, 2002-03 Teacher of the Year - Shaw Elementary/District Finalist.  Bonnie’s work extends beyond her four classroom walls in that she trains for the District, works with USF in mentoring new teachers and teaches Sunday School.   She holds herself to this standard: “to whom much is given, much is expected.”