Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas' 2011 Outstanding Educator is Ponce de Leon Elementary's Tracy Staley

Tracy Staley of Ponce de Leon Elementary reacts after being honored as Pinellas County’s 2011 Outstanding Educator Tuesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The award is presented by the Pinellas Education Foundation, which chose six nominees from 24 semifinalists.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Tracy Staley of Ponce de Leon Elementary reacts after being honored as Pinellas County’s 2011 Outstanding Educator Tuesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The award is presented by the Pinellas Education Foundation, which chose six nominees from 24 semifinalists.

CLEARWATER — At age 28 and with five years on the job, an energetic fifth-grade teacher was crowned as Pinellas County's 2011 Outstanding Educator Tuesday night.

Receiving the honor at a packed red carpet gala at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Tracy Staley quickly shifted the spotlight to others.

"I'm here today because I've been supported my entire life, but I know that's not the case for all my students," said Staley, who teaches math and science at Ponce de Leon Elementary in Clearwater. "That's why I want to teach. I want to be that one person who tells my students 'I love you, I know you can succeed, and I'm going to show you how to succeed.' "

The award is presented by the Pinellas Education Foundation, which this year whittled down 24 semifinalists to six nominees. The awards gala featured a jazz ensemble and a multipart video presentation for each semifinalist.

"Incredible. Dedicated. Patient. Compassionate. These words describe what each of you are to your students," said Pinellas school superintendent Julie Janssen, "You are all an inspiration and important to your students and the community."

Staley, a graduate of St. Petersburg College, began teaching at Sandy Lane Elementary in 2006, and moved over to Ponce De Leon a year later. She's credited with juggling her classroom duties with exceptional grant writing. Earlier this year, Staley won a $2,442 grant that will allow her students to plant a water-conserving garden on campus, using rain barrels for irrigation.

As part of her honor, Staley, who is working on her master's degree at the University of Florida, will ride to school in a limo this morning Her students will be waiting for her at 9 a.m., wearing purple, her favorite color.

The other nominees were:

Sandra Rosado, 55, a Spanish teacher at Perkins Elementary in St. Petersburg. Rosado was presented with the "fan favorite" award from people who voted online.

Vicki Meredith, 61, a fifth-grade math and writing teacher at Woodlawn Elementary in St. Petersburg.

Susan Pomeroy, 51, a third-grade teacher at Azalea Elementary, St. Petersburg.

Sara Carroll, 53, a special education teacher at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School in Largo.

Jessica Felice, 29, a fifth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary in Seminole.

Luis Perez can be reached at (727)892-2271 or lperez@sptimes.com.

Pinellas' 2011 Outstanding Educator is Ponce de Leon Elementary's Tracy Staley 03/01/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 9:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida reverses decision to shield information from nursing home inspection reports

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida regulators decided Friday they will abandon the use of software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online, choosing instead to link to the more complete reports available on a federal site.

    Officials for the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Friday they will no longer use software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online. The agency has been under increased scrutiny since Sept. 13, when eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, pictured here, died after power was lost to an air-conditioning system during Hurricane Irma. Two more residents died this week. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  2. Trump's travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans told the New York Times on Friday.

  3. Maria: Clearwater Coast Guard plane aids rescue near Puerto Rico

    Military

    Eight minutes. That's how long it took the Petty Officer 3rd Class Darryn Manley of the Coast Guard said it took him to spot the boat that capsized off a Puerto Rican island on Thursday.

  4. Mom of girl who died looking for candy seeks to keep husband away

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Eight days after her 4-year-old daughter died in the care of paternal grandparents, pregnant Lizette Hernandez sat in a Hillsborough County courthouse Friday, attempting to seek full-time custody of her 19-month-old son.

    Lizette Hernandez, 22, completes paperwork Friday for a motion for protection from domestic violence against her husband, Shane Zoller. Their daughter, Yanelly, 4, died in a reported gun accident at the home of Zoller's parents Sept. 14. She alleges that her husband hit her and caused her to fall on a grave marker at their daughter's funeral Thursday in a tussle over their remaining 1-year-old son. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]