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Fruitville Elementary kindergarten teacher wins top educator award

Kari Johnson, a 15-year teacher at the school, is now the county's nominee for Florida teacher of the year.

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  • | 6:37 p.m. January 21, 2021
  • Sarasota
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A 15-year kindergarten teacher at Fruitville Elementary is Sarasota County’s Teacher of the Year and is now eligible for consideration for the statewide honor.

 Kari Johnson
Kari Johnson

In a virtual ceremony held Thursday, Kari Johnson was presented the $2,500 prize by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

 Johnson and the other finalists — Samantha Miller of Sarasota Military Academy Prep; Emily O’BrienSwope of Alta Vista Elementary School; and Becky Satterly of Booker High School — participated in the ceremony in virtual “watch party” rooms while at home.

Stephanie Vlahakis
Stephanie Vlahakis

The other finalists each received $1,250 prizes.

  In addition, the Ignite Education Innovation award was presented to Stephanie Vlahakis of Wilkinson Elementary School. The award recognizes a Teacher of the Year who is creative in approach.

 “We are excited that we were able to continue the Teacher of the Year recognition this year,” said Education Foundation President Jennifer Vigne. “Our teachers work hard and give their all to our students every year, but during the pandemic they have been called on to achieve new levels of flexibility and commitment—and they have risen to and above the challenge.”



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