Prescott is Florida Teacher of the Year

First Lady Ann Scott embraces Joy Prescott shortly after she was announced as the 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year.

OKEECHOBEE – Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School (PECS) fourth grade math teacher and former Okeechobee Brahman Joy Prescott was named the 2019 Florida Teacher of the Year at Florida Department of Education (FDOE) awards gala held in Orlando on July 13.

Mrs. Prescott was awarded $20,000 from the FDOE and will now spend the next year traveling the state to work with other teachers as the ‘Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education’.

PECS principal Brain Greseth, who has known Mrs. Prescott since she was a student in kindergarten, is pleased with the way she represented everyone at PECS.

“We are extremely proud of Joy,” said Mr. Greseth. “She is an amazing teacher. Joy will be an asset to the state as she travels next year and shares her incredible teaching skills with others.”

In an interview with the Okeechobee News shortly after becoming a finalist for teacher of the year, Mrs. Prescott singled out two individuals for making an impact on her life.

“The biggest teachers to have an impact on me were my mom and dad,” Mrs. Prescott explained. “They inspired me completely. They were hard-working, and always wanted a better life for me. I was the first in my family to graduate college and they pushed me to be who I am today. I also think Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School is the best of the best. I feel like any of the teachers there could be in my position now. They push me and make me want to do better for my students.”

First Lady Ann Scott and Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart were in attendance to present the award to Mrs. Prescott, who was chosen from more than 198,700 public school teachers throughout the state.

“I am proud to join the Florida Department of Education to announce Joy Prescott as Florida’s Teacher of the Year for her excellence in teaching our Florida students,” First Lady Ann Scott said. “Educators have an incredible impact on the lives of the students in our state. On behalf of all Floridians, we are glad to show our appreciation for Florida’s outstanding teachers.”

The remaining four finalists were presented with a $15,000 check from the Florida Department of Education – Kyle Dencker from Timber Creek High School in Orange County; Molly Winters Diallo from Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Miami-Dade County; Patrick Farley from Crystal Lake Elementary School in Martin County; and Samantha Neff from Idyllwilde Elementary School in Seminole County.

Also during the gala event, the remaining 69 district winners from around the state were also recognized for their achievements and excellence in teaching. Each of the district winners were presented with $10,000 from the Department of Education.

Governor Rick Scott has prioritized the 2019 Teacher of the Year program, and as a result, the State of Florida has allocated significant funding to honor Florida’s top educators.

“Congratulations to Joy Prescott on being named the 2019 Teacher of the Year,” said Governor Scott. “Florida’s teachers and educators are ensuring that our students are developing the knowledge and skills they need to be successful and live the American Dream. As Governor, I’ve been glad to champion record funding for our K-12 schools so every student can get a world-class education in Florida.”

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