Pasco's "best supported" teacher
Wesley Chapel High School math teacher Tom Adams strode to the theater stage, grinning broadly as the audience whooped and applauded. "It's good I came prepared," the new Pasco County teacher of the year said, pulling a prepared speech from his pocket.
Adams talked about the importance of teaching, and said he did not consider himself the teacher of the year but really the "best supported teacher." He praised his principal, fellow teachers and staff at his school, and thanked his wife - a teacher in Hillsborough County - and children for their understanding of the time he spends at school.
"It is with great humility I stand before you as the best supported teacher of the year," said Adams, 41, who has taught in the district for 11 years.
After the award ceremony, Adams admitted to being surprised. His 10-year-old son, Zak, said he knew all along that his dad would win.
"No matter what happened, he would have been the teacher of the year to me," Zak said.
Other award winners Thursday were research and evaluation supervisor Peggy Jones, administrator of the year; Mittye P. Locke Elementary bookkeeper/secretary Mary Olson, non-instructional non-bargaining employee of the year; and Cypress Elementary media technology assistant Helena Fletcher, school related personnel of the year.