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Finalists announced for Sarasota Teacher of the Year

Bay Haven and Booker High School teachers included as finalists for award.

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  • | 1:03 p.m. February 10, 2016
  • Sarasota
  • Schools
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Booker High School teacher Khea Davis was unsuspectingly lured into the school gymnasium pack with students Tuesday morning. 

It turned out to be a surprise ceremony to celebrate naming Davis as a finalists for the Sarasota County School District 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. Davis is joined by two other finalists for the award. 

Similar celebrations took place at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus and Woodland Middle School for Rolf Hanson and Kristina Beecher, respectively. 

Superintendent of Schools Lori White, School Board members Shirley Brown and Caroline Zucker along with district administrators surprised the three teachers with balloons and flowers to celebrate. 

The Sarasota County School District and Education Foundation of Sarasota County partner to present the Teacher of the Year program to recognize outstanding teachers who inspire their students. 

Davis has taught language arts at Booker for two years but has 15 years of teaching experience, having also taught at Carlos E. Halle Middle School in Bradenton. 

"She takes a real active interest not only in students academic lives as well as their personal lives," said Tricia Allen, Booker High School assistant principal. "I noticed right away that she has a different way of relating with students because when I would stop in to see her or a student, she would say 'These are my babies'"

Bay Haven School of Basics Plus Principal Chad Erickson describes science teacher Hanson as teaching from the heart every day.  One project Hanson has implemented at Bay Haven is what he describes as an “edible landscape.” The project allows students in the after-school program to contribute to an edible garden with plots located throughout campus. 

“Although I’ve been teaching for almost three decades, I try to keep things fresh and introduce new ideas and projects to kids when I can,” Hanson said.

Hanson, a 29-year educator has taught in Sarasota County for 17 years and has also taught at Ashton Elementary.

The district Teacher of the Year for 2016-17 will be announced from among the three finalists at a luncheon, March 22, at Michael’s On East in Sarasota.


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