Simoni Bonadies from Rochelle School of the Arts has been named Florida’s Middle School Art Educator of the Year for 2021.
The honor, given by the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA), recognizes individuals who have “achieved the highest level of professionalism in art education.”
“It’s a huge thing,” said Nancy Puri, PCPS’ senior coordinator of visual arts. “It’s the most prestigious award any art teacher can get in the state of Florida.”
Bonadies is known for her extraordinary talent as an artist and classroom instructor, whose students have consistently won awards in local and statewide exhibitions, Puri said. She also said that Bonadies has been an excellent mentor for new and emerging art teachers.
“We are thrilled,” Puri said. “Simoni is so deserving of this (FAEA) honor. All of us in the fine arts are proud of her accomplishments, and grateful for her contribution to the visual arts in Polk County.”
Rochelle Principal Julie Ward also praised Bonadies for her latest achievement.
“We know Simoni is indeed a special person, but this makes it official,” Ward said. “I’m so proud to have her represent Rochelle.”
The FAEA is scheduled to honor this year’s awards recipients during a breakfast in October in Orlando. Previously, Lakeland High’s Andrea Goodson was named the FAEA’s Secondary Art Educator of the Year for 2019.