TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott recognized five 2017 Teachers of the Year from across Florida, including one in St. Johns County, with the Governor's Shine Awards on Tuesday.
The Shine Award is presented to teachers and administrators in Florida who make significant contributions to the field of education.
The following teachers were recognized:
- Laurie Zentz, St. Johns County -- middle school band director at Switzerland Point Middle School. Zentz is the St. Johns County Teacher of the Year and was selected as one of five statewide Teacher of the Year finalists.
- Georgette Allbritton, Suwannee County -- kindergarten teacher at Suwannee Primary School. She was recognized as the 2017 Suwannee Primary School Teacher of the Year and the 2017 Suwannee County District Teacher of the Year.
- Johanna Lopez, Orange County -- Spanish teacher at Colonial High School. She has been teaching Spanish for almost 20 years and is the 2017 Orange County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
- Jeffrey Johnson, St. Lucie County -- exceptional student education teacher at Dale Cassens Educational Complex. He is the 2017 St. Lucie County District Teacher of the Year.
- Kelly Kunde, Washington County -- second grade teacher at Kate M. Smith Elementary School. She is the 2017 Kate M. Smith Teacher of the Year and the 2017 Washington County District Teacher of the Year.
“I am proud to recognize five of Florida’s top educators today for their commitment to making sure their students are prepared to succeed in the classroom and future careers," said Governor Scott. "As 2017 Teachers of the Year, they are an outstanding example of the many hardworking educators across the state that are doing all they can to give our students the highest quality education.”
When Zentz was named a finalist for the Teacher of the Year award, she was presented with a $15,000 check from the Florida Department of Education and Macy's, and a $500 Macy's gift card.
She was also presented a Shine Award earlier this year.
Zentz was recognized as Florida's 2013 representative in "Fifty Band Directors Who Make A Difference" and the 2004 Walmart Teacher of the Year.