Here are the area’s top teachers as selected by their peers. Congratulations!

Stacy Hoffman
Hunter’s Green Elementary
Math & Science, 3rd grade
STEM lead
“Teaching is my passion!  My students become family and together we build a class community.  We don’t see differences, we encourage others, and we understand that we learn from our mistakes.  Through this, I become their biggest cheerleader, encouraging them to be the best they can be.”

Simon Meshbesher
Liberty Middle
Social Studies/History,
8th Grade
  “Teaching is the most exciting and rewarding profession!  The extent of enjoying student achievement, watching students learn, offers unlimited possibilities to influence generations of students, imparting to them the excitement of learning, the passion of discovery, and the magic of an inquisitive mind.”

Michelle Payton
Clark Elementary
Math & Science
4th grade
  “My favorite thing about teaching is making positive connections with my students and showing them that learning can be fun…each time I see one of my students have an “A-Ha” moment, it means success (for both of us).”

Rachael Trent 
Freedom High
  “The students in my classroom run their own business, have jobs on campus and volunteer at an assisted living facility in our community. I love that I am able to facilitate all of this for them in order to enrich their lives and help them become more independent adults.”

Daniel Sturlaugson
Turner Bartels K-8 School
4th Grade
  “My favorite thing about teaching is empowering students to lead.  Student leadership isn’t something that we are mandated to teach, but it’s crucial in preparing students to be college- and career-ready.  It’s a true opportunity to see students grow and change right before your eyes.”

Shane Moody
Benito Middle School
Subject Area Leader for the Language Arts Department, ELA-3 (8th grade) Honors/Advanced classes.
  “The best thing about teaching is that I get to invest my time in developing young students on a path to success relating to their life goals…I am so proud to say I am a member of the Jaguar Family.”

Kendall Arnold
Heritage Elementary
2nd grade
  “My favorite thing about teaching is making connections with students that last beyond the year they are in my class. I have students who come to visit me years after they leave my second grade class. This is the most meaningful part of my job.”

Carol Lynch
Tampa Palms Elementary
1st grade 
  “Tampa Palms Elementary has an incredibly talented staff of teachers and support personnel, so it really is an honor to be chosen by my peers for this award.”

Dawn Harris
Pride Elementary
  “My favorite thing about teaching is the growth I see ALL my students achieve. They always make me proud.”

Lisa Keigher
Chiles Elementary
English Language Arts
3rd grade
  “My own children, who are now adults, went to Chiles. Their teachers, some who are still at Chiles…inspired me to go into education. To be chosen from my colleagues is the greatest honor I could have ever gotten.”

Elizabeth Glover 
Wharton High
Social Studies, AP Human Geography (9th grade) and Student Government Advisor.
  “(My favorite thing about teaching?) Working with the students!  Watching them have the ‘a-ha’ moments while explaining difficult concepts to them.  Teaching them tools to perform tasks, then observing them while they self-start and do (them) on their own.”

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