Duval County's teacher of year announced

Kifimbo Holloway-Parnell of Kirby Middle takes home award

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A language arts teacher from Kirby Smith Middle School is the 2015 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year.  Kifimbo Holloway-Parnell was given the award at the 24th annual EDDY Awards.

"I am not the best of the best. I'm in the number with some great people but I'm grateful, I'm blessed," said Holloway-Parnell.

Holloway-Parnell said she wants to remind teachers and parents to invest in the legacy of our children.

"I don't want them to think of their children as just someone that is going to grow up, another mouth to feed. I want them to understand you have a pearl in your home that needs to be nurtured, needs to blossom, those are diamonds in the rough. We need them out and ready to serve our community," said Holloway-Parnell.

Click to read about each of the five finalists:

Holloway-Parnell advances to the state Teacher of the Year awards.

"Choosing a winner from these five finalists had to be a difficult task," said Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. "Our goal of developing great educators and leaders is strengthened by the dedication and passion for educating our students these teachers have demonstrated. They are an inspiration to us all."

News4Jax's Rob Sweeting emceed the awards at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.  

The EDDY Awards are organized by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. The project has evolved over the last few years into a yearlong initiative to build a network of strong teachers who are leaders in the community and who work to improve schools, accelerate student achievement and elevate the teaching profession.

The Rotary Clubs of Duval County provides individual cash awards and establishes five funds at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund for each of the finalists to use for a project at their school.