TAMPA — Teachers, assistant teachers, secretarial workers and custodians throughout Hillsborough County were surprised Friday with news that they are in the running for Excellence in Education awards.
The nonprofit Hillsborough Education Foundation each year names the district's top teacher, support employee and winner of the Ida S. Baker Diversity award, which recognizes role models for minority students. They will be named at a banquet on Feb. 16.
The 2011 winners were: Palm River Elementary math teacher Cynthia Crim; bus driver Timothy Driggers; and Seffner Elementary exceptional education specialist Cassandra Davis.
This year's nominees, primarily from elementary schools, are:
Teacher of the Year:
• Christine Danger, science, Robles Elementary
• Sue Creekmore, fourth grade, Kingswood Elementary
• Katy Cortelyou, academic intervention, Kenly Elementary
• Elisabeth Denisar Bagin, English, Dowdell Middle
• Yolanda Whitehead Driskell, math, Hillsborough High.
• Kathleen Bennett, secretary, Tinker Elementary
• Leena Hasbini, assistant teacher, Wharton High
• Ryan Johnson, exceptional student education aide, Lanier Elementary
• Kena McDaniels-Harris, exceptional student education aide, Edison Elementary
• Bradley Myers, head custodian, Bailey Elementary.
• Walter Fernando Balser, Assistant Principal, Leto High
• Kelly Kleiner, second grade, Chiaramonte Elementary
• Karen Mynes, guidance counselor, Karen Mynes
• Daisy Ramirez, reading, Trapnell Elemementary
• Wayne Stinnard, fourth grade, Cypress Creek Elementary.
Marlene Sokol can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3356.