Eagle Ridge Elementary Teacher Receives $15K Bonus From Governor

Eagle Ridge Elementary Teacher Receives $15K Bonus From Governor

Seema Naik, of Eagle Ridge Elementary in Coral Springs.

By Kevin Deutsch

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday awarded an Eagle Ridge Elementary School teacher with a $15,000 bonus for being named a Teacher of the Year finalist.

Seema Naik, a fourth-grade teacher at the Coral Springs school, was one of five finalists who received the bonus from DeSantis at Florida’s annual Teacher of the Year Conference in Orlando.

“Florida is the education state not just because we have good policies, but because we have great teachers who go above and beyond for their students,” DeSantis said of the bonuses. “It was great to join some amazing teachers today and to show our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice. We will continue to invest in our schools and educators while putting policies in place that improve outcomes for students.”

The other finalists for 2023 Teacher of the Year in Florida are:

Melissa Matz, a seventh-grade math teacher at Lakeside Junior High School in Clay County.

Trinity Whittington a fourth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Bell Elementary School in Gilchrist County.

Jennifer Jaso, a social studies teacher at Sarasota Middle School.

Deelah Jackson, a fourth-grade teacher at Samoset Elementary School in Manatee County.

The five finalists were chosen for Teacher of the Year from nearly 185,000 public school teachers throughout the state.

After each school district selects its teacher of the year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents, and the business community reviews each district application “on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service,” according to the governor’s office.

The winner will be announced Thursday. They will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

McAuliffe was a teacher and astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

To learn more about the Florida Teacher of the Year program, visit Florida Teachers Lead.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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