A Pinellas County high school band director who was a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year will have to be satisfied with the many other accolades he has won over the years, because the committee granted the award to another teacher.
Christie Bassett, of Highlands Grove Elementary School in Polk County, won the award, which came with a $10,000 check from Macy's.
As a finalist, Tarpon Springs High School band teacher Kevin Ford had already won a $5,000 scholarship and $1,000 for his school. He was one of five teachers to make it to the finals out of more than 180,000 teachers in the state.
Ford has led his high school marching band to six national championships, the band was invited to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and the city of Tarpon Springs decreed Sept. 22 as Kevin Ford Day for his contributions to youth of the community.