Meet your 2016-17 Pinellas Outstanding Educator finalists
Ten Pinellas County educators received a pleasant surprise this week.
District officials and Pinellas Education Foundation representatives barged into their classrooms with the news: they would take the stage in January as finalists for the 2016-17 Pinellas Outstanding Educator of the Year.
William Black, a fifth-grade teacher at Anona Elementary School
Alison Blanco, a mathematics teacher at Osceola Middle School
Karen Cangemi, a reading/literacy coach at High Point Elementary School
Vanessa Ko, a mathematics teacher at Palm Harbor Middle School
Kali Kopka, a kindergarten teacher at Leila Davis Elementary School
Angela Pitts, a kindergarten teacher at Azalea Elementary School
Brandon Rader, a social studies teacher at St. Petersburg High School
David Reid, a curriculum technology specialist at East Lake Middle School Academy
Zanetta Robinson, a language arts teacher at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental School
Michelle Zajac, a third-grade teacher at Curlew Creek Elementary School
The district narrowed down 120 nominations to 10 finalists, which were scored by a panel of judges based on multiple criteria. The finalists will be interviewed and go through a second round of scoring by a different judging panel before announcing the winner at the annual Evening of Excellence on Jan. 31, 2017 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
For now, the finalists will celebrate on a float in the annual Snowfest Parade in St. Petersburg on Dec. 3.