Educating students takes more than just teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic.

TAMPA, Fla. – It takes a special person that can engage and connect with students. Tonight the Hillsborough Education Foundation will host the Excellence in Education 2017 Awards. The award ceremony celebrates some of the Hillsborough County Public Schools’ most dedicated individuals.

The ceremony will be held at the Straz Center for Performing Arts and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. TBAE will be on location to cover tonight’s prestigious ceremony and will broadcast the program Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. on Charter Spectrum channel 635 and Frontier Fios channel 32.

Every year the award ceremony recognizes Hillsborough County Public School employees who strive to empower students to reach their fullest potential. The ceremony will recognize individuals in 3 categories including the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year.

This year’s nominees are:

Instructional Support Employee of the Year Finalists

  • Nancy Alexander, Wimauma Elementary School
  • Terranique Ragins, Franklin Boys Preparatory School
  • Roma Soogrim-EsteMcDonald, Muller Elementary Magnet School

 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists

  • Olivia Williams Holcombe, Colson Elementary
  • Aaron Lee Berry, Alonso High School
  • Pedro Castrejon, Jefferson High School

 Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Carrie D. Donatelli, Turner Bartels K- 8
  • Katerina M. Pawloski, Tinker K-8 
  • Lauren Schnebly Hackworth, Mitchell Elementary School
  • Maria Torres-Crosby, Memorial Middle School
  • Elizabeth Walker, Spoto High School
  • Cathelyn Gregoire, Armwood High School

For more information please visit:

Hillsborough Education Foundation

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS)

Straz Center for the Performing Arts