Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran named Okeechobee County Teacher Krista Stanley on Tuesday as the 2021 Teacher of the Year.
Stanley serves as a sixth-grade teacher at Yearling Middle School and was chosen from among more than 176,900 Florida public school teachers.
“In only four years of teaching, Krista has quickly risen to the challenge and is an inspiration and role model not only to her students but to her fellow educational leaders,” DeSantis said. “She is a wonderful example of the thousands of Florida teachers who have dedicated their lives to inspire the minds of our students.”
Stanley will receive $20,000 from the Florida Department of Education and an $8,000 two-year college scholarship, which will be awarded to a student of her choice.
“We are honored to recognize Krista Stanley for being selected as the 2021 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year,” Corcoran said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of a very important reality – that a great teacher in front of every student is absolutely essential.”
As the 2021 Teacher of the Year, Stanley will also serve as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education for one year. There she will provide learning opportunities to teachers and help recruit others into the education field.
“Krista embodies what every teacher should strive to be, a teacher who is devoted to guiding every student to mastery of content,” said Yearling Middle School Principle David Krakoff.
Four finalists for the award will also receive a $15,000 check from the Florida Department of Education.
Those four finalists include Kristin Wilson from Florida State University School in Leon County, Euan Hunter from Vanguard High School in Marion County, Rob Paschall from West Creek Elementary School in Orange County, and Syndie White from Elbridge Gale Elementary School in Palm Beach County
The Florida Teacher of the Year Program is funded by several sponsors such as Florida Prepaid, Publix and Universal Orlando Resort.