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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FL Teacher of the Year: "I had this idea that leaders knew how to fight"



Alexandre Lopes always thought he was "too gentle" to be a leader.

"I had this idea that leaders knew how to fight, knew how to yell when they needed to yell. And I'm no good at that," said Lopes, speaking to teachers from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties who had come to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg for a conference on "Teachers as Leaders."

Despite Lopes's school of thought, he obviously had the makings of a leader: The Miami educator, who teaches both general and special education prekindergarteners, was named the 2013 Florida Teacher of the Year.

Addressing the Tampa Bay teachers, Lopes said he had come to learn that there were different ways to show leadership. Though he doesn't like to shout, he likes to write. He penned an op-ed on inclusion for the Miami Herald.

He also mentioned meeting Dr. Jill Biden and being able to share his belief with her that children should be exposed to diversity at a young age. Dr. Biden echoed his comments to reporters, spreading his message.

"Think of the power of that, in terms of reaching out the community, and educating the community about things they might not know about," Lopes said.

[Last modified: Friday, June 14, 2013 3:03pm]


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