Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Devoted Greco Middle School teacher gets $10,000 bonus

Teacher Angela Keller Markle reacts after she was greeted by students and sprayed with silly string Friday at Greco Middle in Tampa. Markle was presented with the district’s We Deliver award and a $10,000 check.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

Teacher Angela Keller Markle reacts after she was greeted by students and sprayed with silly string Friday at Greco Middle in Tampa. Markle was presented with the district’s We Deliver award and a $10,000 check.

TAMPA — The day for Greco Middle School teacher Angela Keller Markle began like any other. There was planning in first period, then post-exam craziness in second.

But when she entered the cafeteria for third period lunch, the surprises started coming: a cloud of silly string, hugs from the superintendent and then, a giant check for $10,000.

Before a crowd of cheering students, Keller was given this year's We Deliver award. It's the eighth of its kind for the Hillsborough County School District, recognizing employees who exceed expectations.

In Keller's case, that means providing food or clothing for her students, said superintendent MaryEllen Elia. She also involves her students in public service activities at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and for Henry's Angels, a charity she formed in memory of her husband, Henry Markle.

"Her students are her children," Elia said. "She feels a genuine obligation to include them in her life."

The award was a bittersweet milestone for the 37-year-old Keller, whose husband died of cancer in 2007, before they could start a family.

She told the students, "You guys are the reason why I get up every day and come to work."

Later she spoke of the financial stress she experienced after her husband's illness and death. In addition to supporting herself, there are expenses that come with teaching in a high-poverty school. More than half her students don't have notebooks, she said.

Some of the $10,000 will help pay bills and some will be spent on the kids, she said.

A district employee since 2005, Keller started her career at Greco and never considered anything other than middle school.

She remembers her own middle school years in Fort Myers, when she felt self-conscious as a chubby child who wore glasses and played in the band. One teacher there made her feel welcome, she said, and she has always modeled herself after him.

She knew her sister nominated her for the award. She never expected to win.

"I'm really stunned," she said.

Surrounded by district leaders in the crowded cafeteria, she lost her composure at first. She trembled. She dabbed at her eyes. Then, when asked to address the students, she said, "I guess I'll start the way I start my classes every day.

"Good afternoon, beautiful people."

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

Devoted Greco Middle School teacher gets $10,000 bonus 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 10:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Romano: C'mon Rick Baker, tell us how you really feel about Trump

    Local Government

    A brief timeline of presidential politics in St. Petersburg:

    Rick Baker, center,  waves to drivers while holding a sign that reads "Thank You" along with his family and supporters.
  2. In St. Petersburg mayor's race, Rick vs. Rick is also Rays vs. Rowdies

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Maybe before the NFL's national anthem uproar you assumed professional sports were apolitical endeavors. You'd be dead wrong in the case of St. Petersburg's mayoral race.

    Rep. Janet Cruz D-Tampa, left, Rafaela Amador, Tampa Bay Rays Senior Director of Public Relations, center, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman talk with reporters during a press conference at Signature Flight Support in Tampa after returning from Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 11. (WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times)
  3. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts

    Bucs

    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Motorcycle driver killed after hitting turning car on Keene Road in Largo

    Accidents

    A motorcycle driver was killed Friday evening when he struck a turning car, Largo police said.

  5. Drive-by shooting near Robles Park injures four people standing outside in crowd

    Crime

    TAMPA — Four people standing in a crowd were hit by bullets during a drive-by shooting near Robles Park in Tampa late Friday, Tampa police said.