Four Sarasota teachers were awarded Congressional Teacher Awards for their achievements in the classroom.
These awards have been given annually to teachers in the 16th Congressional district, which encompasses western Manatee County and northern Sarasota County, since 2014.
Barb Rannigan, a third-grade teacher at Alta Vista Elementary; Es Swihart, an English teacher at Riverview High; Dr. Terri St. John, an English teacher at Sarasota High; and Deborah Walker, a sixth-grade science teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep all received awards from Sarasota County.
Swihart was Sarasota County's Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Four teachers were recognized from Manatee County.
Both districts nominated teachers for the awards, and all nominees were added to the Congressional Record for their achievements.
An independent panel of three judges from Florida’s 16th District chose the recipients.
“I was once told that children are 25% of the population, but they are 100% of the future. And it’s true,” U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan (R) said in a release. “The education of a child and young adult is an investment … That is why I established the Congressional Teacher Awards to honor educators for their ability to teach and inspire students.”