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Buchanan Recognizes Local Educators, School Employees


BRADENTON — Over the weekend, Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) hosted the 10th annual Congressional Education Awards ceremony to give special recognition to 26 dedicated professionals in Florida’s 16th Congressional District for exceptional achievement.

This year, the program was expanded to include all school employees. From a cafeteria manager to a school counselor and even a firefighting instructor, the group represented the very best of our education system. The Congressman also recognized the recipients in the Congressional Record for their achievements.

“School employees work tirelessly because they understand that their efforts are not just about fulfilling a job description, but about shaping the future,” said Congressman Buchanan. “These outstanding men and women are the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive, and they deserve to be recognized.”

This year’s award recipients include:

Manatee County:
Michelle Ayling, State College of Florida Collegiate School
Jensina Barnes, Palm View K-8
Pauline Barnes, Manatee High School
W. Shane Baxley, Manatee Technical College
Amy Bradl, Willis Elementary School
Patrice Cairo, Gene Witt Elementary School
William Cirone, Manatee Technical College
Joadie Durfee, Harvey Elementary School
Rennie Finck, Lakewood Ranch High School
Katie Fradley, Willis Elementary School
Jennifer Harper, Williams Elementary School
Jen Johnson, Sea Breeze Elementary School
Kami Lake, works in various schools
Debra McCarthy, Lakewood Ranch High School
Chelsea McCay, Daughtrey Elementary School
Stefanie Minihan, Braden River High School
Patricia Pearson, Braden River Middle School
Katherine Price, Willis Elementary School
Jodi Samson, McNeal Elementary School
Laura Schuyler, Braden River Middle School
Jessica Spence, McNeal Elementary School

Hillsborough County:
Kathy Dodd, Newsome High School
Donna Hart, Newsome High School
Melissa Hart, Winthrop Charter School
Aliya Norman, Reddick Elementary School
Kimberly Opperman, Reddick Elementary School


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