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Community Spotlight Manatee Schools Announces Edvantage Awards Finalists


BRADENTON – Eight extremely talented and devoted employees of the Manatee County School District were surprised by a visit on Monday from Superintendent David Gayler and other district guests to officially announce the finalists for the EdVantage Education Awards.

The EdVantage Education Awards celebrate excellence in education in Manatee County by selecting an “Educator of the Year” and a “Support Employee of the Year.”

The Finalists surprised today are as follows:

Educator of the Year

Carrie Rainwater, Science Teacher, Nolan Middle School

Deborah Miele, Math Teacher, King Middle School

Jason Schiessl, Theatre Arts Teacher, Southeast High School

Zadda Bazzy, Music Teacher, Oneco Elementary School

Support Employee of the Year

Diane Popovice, Registrar, Mills Elementary School

Joni Wallace-Brightbill, Secretary II, Matzke Support Center

Sandy Heaton, Senior School Secretary, Wakeland Elementary School

Todd Persinger, Head Custodian, Anna Maria Elementary School

Each school and work site in the Manatee District was given the opportunity to nominate employees for the award categories. Committees then selected the eight finalists announced today.

The finalists will be honored and the Educator of the Year and Support Employee of the Year will be announced at the EdVantage Education Awards to be held on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, beginning at 7 p.m. at the new Manatee Technical Institute campus located at 6305 S.R. 70 East.

The Educator representative will advance to the Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year competition, while the Support representative will advance to the Florida School Related Employee of the Year competition.


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