Recognize Your Colleagues During American Education Week...

Teachers and education staff professionals (ESPs) work in Florida public schools because they love children and education. They love their jobs because it allows them to contribute to their communities and help others. Whether it is the bus driver, office staff or the custodian, teachers and ESPs are among the most memorable people in a student's life during the school day and beyond. Let's salute Florida teachers and ESPs.


In honor of Florida's public school employees and the work they perform in our public schools, during American Education Week, we’re spotlighting Florida’s teachers and (ESPs) and the work they perform in our schools. Do you know of a teacher or ESP who deserves recognition? Click here.

Saluting Florida's  Teachers and ESPs
2013 American Education Week

Meet Khalifa Stanford, a Reading and Social Studies teacher in Miami-Dade for
16 years. Khalifa is fully engaged in her profession, her union and helping people. She’s an executive member of The United Teachers of Dade (UTD), a delegate for her state and national unions and a part-time instructor at Miami-Dade College. Every year Khalifa and her students collect can goods and items for needy families for Thanksgiving and the local Homeless Shelter. She also donates clothes to the Salvation Army on an annual bases. Khalifa Stanford truly aspires to be the living proof of John F. Kennedy ’s quote
"One person can make a difference, and
everyone should try."

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2012 American Education Week Meet Carolyn Coffey, a school bus driver in St, Johns County. Her colleagues say
Carolyn is a devoted, professional and persistent ESP President with
the passion to rally for all ESP's in her county.
She deals with several schools/personnel situations with fairness.
She is a strong woman who preservers through tough times
and situations, yet still performs her job with pride and dignity.
Carolyn Coffey deserves to be recognized for her leadership.
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When it comes to teaching, Brenda Irby recognizes the
precious commodity that has been entrusted to her. She gives 100% to her students
to ensure their academic success and encourage them to become
independent lifelong learners. Brenda has always wanted to
make a difference in the lives of her students. She continues to
attend classes, conferences and workshops to help her become a better teacher and colleague. She's willing to make home visits to inquire about her students and works closely with their families. We need more caring educators like Brenda.
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Reading is a powerful activity that Heather Barnard-Riley wants every child to
experience. She has started a Family Reading Resource Center in Lee County
for kindergarten and first graders. Students can borrow books and
select a few to keep for starting their own home libraries. Heather has
implemented a school-wide reading challenge for k through 5 students to read
10 books in 10 genres and then receive badges for each genre.
After 100 books have been read, the students will make book jackets
to showcase their favorite books.
The students are so excited to read because of Heather Barnard-Riley.
She's making a huge difference at River Hall Elementary.
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This is Samantha Staples' first year in the classroom.
She teaches middle school math.
her colleagues admire her passion for math and the way
she helps students understand the concepts. She has that "new teacher"
fire and ingenuity to try new things and allow the students to figure things out.
She frequently plans projects and games to make math interesting.
She provides encouragement for all of us.
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Stephanie Middleton runs the GLOCAL Club which is a
community service club in Osceola County. This club participates in
BeadforLife, which is a non-profit organization. It was founded to create
opportunities for Ugandan women to earn a living wage.
Stephanie encourages involvement and participates in the group's activities,
which is very involved the local community.
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