Hold up Governor Scott! There are a few questions (maybe quite a few) that need to be addressed as far as fairness in recognition of educators around and across Florida. This goes deeper, but in just review of the “Shine Awards” distributed in 2015 and 2016, there appear to be some bias and maybe some prejudice in the constant re-occurrence of Florida educators in central Florida, especially in the politically charged I-4 corridor of which Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties are all linked and coincidentally receiving all of the “shine” (awards) from the sun source (governor).
Even before Governor Scott it has been a quiet undercurrent of comments that educators on the east coast, ESPECIALLY southeast Florida never receive just acknowledgement for their superior work well done in a consistency as other counties located in the central and northern counties inclusive of the west coast. It makes one wonder and thinks that maybe this special recognition opens up doors to more funding opportunities making more resources available for these preferential counties to be seen as the ultimate of success.
Florida is politically charged and money motivated. Take a look below of the counties and locations on the Florida map to begin to realize that this situation is worthy of scrutiny and therefore relentless watchful observance to rectify and give balance as students throughout Florida are being educated by quality top-notch educators throughout the state that are deserving of full recognition and opportunities for increased advancement in aiding their schools and communities. Florida education administrators should not be respecters of particular counties especially when political involvement appears prevalent and this has no bearing direct on those teachers/educators that have received recognition.
Governor Scott Presents Shine Awards to Eight Outstanding Florida Educators
March 29, 2016, Governor Scott presents ‘Shine Awards’ to eight outstanding Florida educators; the following eight teachers were awarded the Governor’s Shine Award: Susie Barber, Jackson County; Tim Brown, Polk County; SGM Cynthia Downing, U.S. Army, Polk County; Lindsey Hamlin, Jackson County; Col. Jeff Kaloostian, U.S. Air Force, Hillsborough County; Sgt. Leon O’Connell, U.S. Army, Polk County; Lt Col. Shawn Phelps, U.S. Army, Polk County; Jo Ellen Stanley, Lee County.
Governor Rick Scott Presents Shine Awards to Eight Elementary School Educators
Thursday, February 5, 2015 Governor Rick Scott presents ‘Shine Awards’ to eight elementary school educators; during the day’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized eight outstanding elementary educators in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties with the Governor’s Shine Awards for their commitment to Florida’s students.
Was Governor Scott fair and balanced when he said, “Florida’s teachers know that a great job begins with a great education, which is why they work so hard to prepare our students for the future. To provide our teachers with the resources they need to best help students, our proposed “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING BUDGET” recommends the highest per pupil and total K-12 education funding in Florida history. I am proud to present the Governor’s Shine Award to these eight elementary teachers who go above and beyond to make a difference in education here in Florida: Julie Chasney, Pasco County, James M. Marlowe Elementary School; Rebecca Cicione, Pasco County, Connerton Elementary School; Sarah Darr, Hillsborough County, Egypt Lake Elementary; Julie Hiltz, Hillsborough County, Lutz Elementary School; Reagan Lawrence, Hillsborough County, Hunter’s Green Elementary School; Jonathan McComber, Pinellas County, San Jose Elementary School; Robert Sinibaldi, Pinellas County, Walsingham Elementary School; Leronya Vaughn-Dunmore, Hillsborough County, Sheehy Elementary School.
Further interesting notes in regards to Florida’s 2015 and 2016 Teacher of the Year Awards (with no disrespect to the recipients) 2015 Christie Bassett, Art Educator, Highlands Grove Elementary School, Polk County; 2016 Diane McKee, Williams Middle Magnet School, Hillsborough County.
This is just an observation, but certainly it is worth some looking into and follow through by those in authority to ensure that the Florida sun ‘shine’ on all deserving Florida educators—–and without doubt, the only ‘shine’ does not just reign the same for those who appear to be preferential counties for whatever reasons as quality students are being produced across the board by quality educators all, of which none should be overlooked or cast aside.
Source: Florida Department of Education