Make us your home page

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.


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

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

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.