Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart last week presented Samantha Hopper, a fourth grade teacher at Key Largo School, with the Mary J. Brogan “Excellence in Teaching” award and $1,000.
“In her six years as an educator, Samantha Hopper has made a tremendous impact on her students, colleagues, school leadership and community, and I am honored to recognize her as this year’s Mary J. Brogan ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award recipient,” Stewart said.
Hopper’s principal at Key Largo School, Laura Lietaert, described her as an engaging teacher who sets high standards for her students and herself and who is always looking for ways to improve her practice and help those around her reach their full potential. Recognizing the value of extracurricular activities, she is involved in her students’ athletic endeavors, performances and competitions outside of the classroom. In her community, she has supported non-profit organizations to benefit student scholarships, cancer research, hospice, the humane society and the arts.
The Mary J. Brogan “Excellence in Teaching” award is named in honor of the late Mary J. Brogan, a third grade teacher and elementary principal, to recognize extraordinary educators who instill passion, joy and love of learning in their students. The award is presented to a district teacher of the year who goes above and beyond the classroom experience.
The awards breakfast concluded the annual Florida Teacher of the Year Roundtable, a four-day event, which provides district teachers of the year with opportunities for professional development, networking and celebration with education leaders and one another.