Each year, the awards program honors approximately 240 outstanding employees from across the district.  Along with 12 finalists, the winners receive cash awards and other prizes from event sponsors.

Judges include community members from local organizations and businesses, as well as past winners and finalists. Judges review the applications without knowledge of applicant names or schools. Judging criteria includes leadership and professional development activities, community and school involvement, and teaching style.

Each year, the Florida Department of Education names a Florida Teacher of the Year, choosing an educator who has “demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.” The Florida School-Related Employee of the Year award recognizes outstanding education support personnel for contributions to their schools and communities. Both of Polk’s winners move on to compete for the state titles.

Previous Winners