Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Palm Harbor Middle School math instructor to learn if she's Florida's top teacher

Palm Harbor Middle School teacher Vanessa Ko gives her thanks after learning that she was the Pinellas County Outstanding Educator of the Year during the ceremony at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 31, 2017. [LARA CERRI | Times]

Palm Harbor Middle School teacher Vanessa Ko gives her thanks after learning that she was the Pinellas County Outstanding Educator of the Year during the ceremony at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 31, 2017. [LARA CERRI | Times]

ORLANDO — A Palm Harbor Middle School math instructor will learn tonight if she's the top teacher in the state.

Vanessa Ko is among five candidates for Florida's Teacher of the Year, which will be announced tonight during an annual award gala at Universal Studios Orlando.

The winner will be announced Thursday during an annual award gala at Universal Studios Orlando.

Ko began her career in the Pinellas school system 13 years ago at Palm Harbor Middle, teaching math and AVID classes. Along the way, she has become a district pioneer for the AVID program, which, according to the district, aims to "close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society."

Ko was named the Pinellas Outstanding Educator of the Year in January.

RELATED: Pinellas Educator of the Year: a math teacher who brings 'a nurturing heart' to the equation

The other finalists: Katelyn Fiori from Vero Beach Elementary School; mathematics teacher Tammy Jerkins from Leesburg High School; exceptional education teacher Diego Fuentes from Hillcrest School in Marion County; and Michael Miller from Kissimmee Elementary School.

The Teacher of the Year winner will receive $25,000 from the Florida Department of Education and Macy's, as well as an all-expense-paid trip for four to New York City to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy's also is providing the winner with a $1,000 clothing allowance.

Each finalist's school also will receive $1,000 from Macy's.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Palm Harbor Middle School math instructor to learn if she's Florida's top teacher 07/13/17 [Last modified: Thursday, July 13, 2017 10:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO

    Corporate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Roger Berdusco is stepping down as CEO at Triad Retail Media to pursue other opportunities. [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  2. What to watch this week: Fall TV kicks off with 'Will & Grace,' 'Young Sheldon,' return of 'This Is Us'

    Blogs

    September temperatures are still creeping into the 90s, but fall officially started a few days ago. And with that designation comes the avalanche of new and returning TV shows. The Big Bang Theory fans get a double dose of Sheldon Cooper's nerdisms with the return of the titular series for an eleventh season and …

    Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally in Will & Grace.
  3. Eight refueling jets from Arkansas, 250 people heading to new home at MacDill

    Macdill

    TAMPA — The number of KC-135 refueling jets at MacDill Air Force Base will grow from 18 to 24 with the return of a squadron that once called Tampa home.

    A KC-135 Stratotanker, a military aerial refueling jet, undergoes maintenance at MacDill Air Force Base. The planes, many flying since the late 1950s, are now being flown more than twice as much as scheduled because of ongoing foreign conflicts. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings

    Bucs

    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers player and Army vet who stood alone, now has the NFL's top-selling jersey

    Bucs

    CHICAGO — When the national anthem started at Soldier Field on Sunday, the visiting sideline was mostly empty. The most prominent evidence of the Pittsburgh Steelers was offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, standing all by himself near the tunnel, holding his right hand over his heart.

    Alejandro Villanueva stands alone during the national anthem at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Associated Press]