Six teachers from Manatee and Sarasota counties recently received Congressional Teaching Awards through the office of U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key).
An additional teacher from Hillsborough County rounded out the group of seven honored in Buchanan’s 16th Congressional District.
The Sarasota County teachers:
- Eric Lostorto for his accomplishments as a math teacher at Tuttle Elementary.
- Angelee Gens for her accomplishments as a life science teacher at Brookside Middle School.
- Shannon Nelson for her accomplishments as an exceptional-student education teacher at Sarasota High School.
The Manatee County teachers:
- Victoria Adriano for her accomplishments as a student-support specialist at Ballard Elementary School in Bradenton
- Erica Bruton for her accomplishments as a language arts teacher at Lincoln Memorial Middle School in Palmetto.
- Tammy Harper for her accomplishments as a chemistry teacher at Lakewood Ranch High School in Lakewood Ranch
Buchanan established the annual awards in 2014 as a way to pay recognition to teachers who make a difference in the classroom.
“While they may not always receive the appreciation or recognition they deserve, teachers have one of the most important and difficult professions of all,” Buchanan said. “That is why I established the Congressional Teacher Awards — to honor educators for the crucial role they play in our community and inspiring our younger generations. This has been a challenging year for teachers and students, which makes this recognition all the more important.”
A total of 20 teachers who teach and live in Florida’s 16th District were nominated for the award by their principals. An independent panel of judges from Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties chose the recipients of the Congressional Teacher Awards.
The seven winners were given a certificate and recognized by the congressman in the Congressional Record for their achievements.