The Manatee County Schools Educator of the Year and Support Employee of the Year will be named Wednesday, March 6, when the district hosts the EdVantage Education Awards.
The event begins at 7 p.m. at the new Manatee Technical Institute located on State Road 70 East.
Four finalists in each of those categories have been selected and are as follows:
Educator of the Year:
Zadda Bazzy, music teacher, Oneco Elementary School
Deborah Miele, math teacher, King Middle School
Carrie Rainwater, science teacher, Nolan Middle School
Jason Schiessel, theater arts teacher, Southeast High School
Support Employee of the Year:
Sandy Heaton, senior school secretary, Wakeland Elementary School
Todd Persinger, head sustodian, Anna Maria Elementary School
Diane Popovice, registrar, Mills Elementary School
Joni Wallace Brightbill, secretary III, Maintenance and Operations Department
This year's event will feature several Manatee County Schools student performance groups and will culminate in two prize presentations.
A 2013 Toyota Prius will be presented to the Educator of the Year by the Gettel Family of Automotives and a $5,000 Savings Account will be awarded to the Support Employee of the Year by Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.
Each school and work site in Manatee Schools was given the opportunity to nominate employees for the award categories.
Those individual site representatives were selected and that list was trimmed to 24 semifinalists (12 in the educator category and 12 in the support category).
Committees comprised of peers, fellow educators and administrators selected the four finalists for each award.
The educator representative will advance to the Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year competition, while the support representative will advance to the Florida School Related Employee of the Year competition.