2 Northeast Florida teachers honored with Governor's Shine Award

Columbia County's Robin Heeke, Union County's Brittney McGee recognized

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer

Gov. Rick Scott recognizes eight Florida educators with the Governor's Shine Award. (Photo courtesy: Governor's Press Office)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Two Northeast Florida teachers were among eight educators honored with the Governor's Shine Award on Wednesday at the state Capitol. 

During a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Gov. Rick Scott presented the Shine Award to Fort White High School teacher Robin Heeke, Lake Butler Middle School teacher Brittney McGee and six other educators.

Heeke, who's the 2017 Columbia County School District Teacher of the Year, has been teaching for 20 years, the last 17 of which she has spent at Fort White High School. She teaches Advanced Placement government and politics, AP U.S. history and AP world history.

McGee was named the 2017 Union County School District Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching for 11 years and currently teaches agriculture at Lake Butler Middle School. She's a member of the Florida Teacher Lead Network.

The Shine Award is given to teachers and administrators in Florida who make significant contributions to the education field. 

“Florida educators go above and beyond to help students get a quality education, and I’m proud to recognize these outstanding educators," Scott said. "In Florida, we support our teachers so they have every resource they need to help students succeed.”

The other six educators presented with the Governor’s Shine Award were:

  • Jane Araguez, Brevard County – Araguez has been teaching for 13 years and teaches kindergarten at Saturn Elementary School in Cocoa Beach. 
  • Larissa Bennett, Manatee County – Bennett has spent the last 16 years in the education field, with the last 11 as a school counselor. She currently serves as a school counselor at Virgil Mills Elementary School in Bradenton. 
  • Andrea Brown, Okaloosa County – Brown, who has 19 years’ experience, teaches remedial reading and math at the Baker School. 
  • Christopher Combass, Hamilton County – With 21 years’ experience, Combass has spent his entire education career at his alma mater, Hamilton County High School, where he teaches social studies. 
  • Deeanna Golden, Jackson County – Golden is a skilled educator with 28 years’ experience. She teaches kindergarten at F.M. Golson Elementary School in Marianna. 
  • Maria Laing, A.D. Henderson University School, Palm Beach County – Laing has 20 years’ teaching experience, and teaches reading and math to special needs students in grades K-5 at A.D. Henderson University School. 

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