JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five outstanding teachers are in the running for 2018 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year.
Duval County Public Schools announced the finalists Wednesday, right before the winter break.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Patricia Willis was among several people in a group that went around the district, personally surprising each teacher in his or her classroom.
The district even shared a video on Facebook, showing the surprise announcements.
The five finalists are: Stephanie Bellino of Garden City Elementary School, Tabetha Cox from Sadie T. Tillis Elementary School, Alicia Lloyd from Youth Development Programs at the PreTrial Detention Facility, Abe Reising of Mandarin High School and Will Smith of the Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School.
An ceremony for the 27th Annual EDDY Awards will take place Feb. 2, when a winner will be named.
"The oftentimes challenging work teachers do shapes what our city is and what it has the potential to be," Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar said. "The Teacher of the Year program gives the community a glimpse into some of the excellent work teachers are doing to improve the lives of tomorrow’s future leaders. It is an honor to spend the day with these amazing educators and to learn from them how we, as a community, can better live up to our shared responsibility to support everything these educators do."