As Booker Middle School teacher Victor Fernandez and the Booker Middle School mariachi band were performing for the student body, Sarasota County School Board members crept onto the stage carrying balloons and trying not to smile.
As the band finished its song, Lori White, superintendent of schools, announced that the Board had chosen Fernandez as Sarasota County middle school teacher of the year and finalist for the county's teacher of the year competition.
The overall district Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013 will be announced from among the three finalists — Fernandez, Danielle Tanaka of Venice High School and Jessica Gardner of Gocio Elementary School — in January 2012.
Look for the full story in next week's issue of The Sarasota Observer.
Contact Loren Mayo at email@example.com.