Teacher of the Year

Santa Rosa Education Foundation administers the Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Program for the Santa Rosa School District. This program celebrates the contributions of classroom teachers who demonstrate a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. Since its inception in 1988, the program continues to be a prestigious honor drawing participation from Florida’s 72 public school districts and other institutions.

Santa Rosa County is blessed with one of the finest school districts in the state of Florida. Over 1,850 teachers dedicate their days to ensure that the district’s 25,000 plus students are inspired to reach their full potential.  Year after year, these educators and students prove their success by ranking as a top district throughout the state in academics. Santa Rosa County’s high performing school system positively impacts its ability to attract new businesses and families.

Each October, every school selects a nominee for Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year. The nominees are carefully chosen to represent a passion for learning, innovation, inspiration, and the expectation of excellence held as the goal for Santa Rosa Schools. From this exceptional group, one teacher is selected as Santa Rosa’s nominee for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Santa Rosa Education Foundation hosts the annual Golden Apple Celebration to honor Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year nominees and celebrate all of our dedicated educators in the Santa Rosa School District.  For more information about the Golden Apple Celebration, click here.

2021 Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year Semifinalists

Ginni Rushing, Holley-Navarre Intermediate
Elizabeth Mann, Oriole Beach Elementary
Tish Boozer, Santa Rosa Online
Ashley Carter, Sims Middle
Courtney English, West Navarre Intermediate


2021 Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year Nominees

Rachel Belveal, Avalon Middle
Anna Ledet, Bagdad Elementary
Leann McCombs, Berryhill Elementary
Nikki Golden, Central
Jessica Strickland, Chumuckla Elementary
Wendy Peterson, D.A. Dillon Center
Crissy Longhurst, S.S. Dixon Intermediate
Tonia Wells, S.S. Dixon Primary
Jessica Hounshell, East Milton Elementary
Lindsay Bowman, Gulf Breeze Elementary
Amanda Dixon, Gulf Breeze High
Margaret Bennett Shirley, Gulf Breeze Middle
Maegan Baker, Hobbs Middle
Ginni Rushing, Holley-Navarre Intermediate
Pamela Rose, Holley-Navarre Middle
Jennifer Woll, Holley-Navarre Primary
Tabatha Hawthorne, Jay Elementary
Steven Locklin, Jay High
Lindsay Pharo, King Middle
Erich Kirchharr, Locklin Technical College
Charity Sanborn, Milton High
Karen Cody, Navarre High
Elizabeth Mann, Oriole Beach Elementary
Lisa Taylor, Pace High
Gillian West, Pea Ridge Elementary
Cindy Simpson, W.H. Rhodes Elementary
Shana Carlson, B.C. Russell Elementary
Patricia Droogsma, Santa Rosa High/Adult
Luticia Boozer, Santa Rosa Online Academy
Ashley Carter, T.L. Sims Middle
Courtney English, West Navarre Intermediate
Shanty Peterson, West Navarre Primary
Celia Hernandez, Woodlawn Beach Middle

The Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year will be announced on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

Nominees will be recognized at Santa Rosa’s Golden Apple Awards celebrating
all Santa Rosa educators on Friday, February 28, 2020, at Skopelos at New World Landing.