Vern Buchanan honored nine area teachers with his Congressional Teacher Awards.

Congressman Vern Buchanan announced that nine teachers in the 16th Congressional District were chosen for the Congressional Teacher Awards. Buchanan honored the recipients during a ceremony Friday evening at the Manatee County Board of County Commission Chambers in Bradenton.

The Congressional Teacher Awards, established by Buchanan in 2014, are given out annually to special Suncoast teachers for their outstanding achievements on behalf of students. This year, 34 teachers were nominated by their principals. An independent panel of judges from Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties chose the recipients of the Congressional Teacher Awards. 


This year’s award recipients include Marissa Dobbert for her accomplishments as a seventh grade math teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep; Elizabeth Harris for her accomplishments as a third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade interventionist at Myakka City Elementary School; Chris King for his accomplishments as a sixth-ninth grade special education teacher at Haile Middle School; Kate Kramer for her accomplishments as Exceptional Student Education Liaison for the autism and PK unit at Fruitville Elementary; Kari McMillan for her accomplishments as a math teacher at Palmetto High School; Ashlee Middleton for her accomplishments as an 11th- and 12th-grade English and reading teacher at Sarasota High School; Nancy Miller for her accomplishments as a third-grade teacher at Ballard Elementary School; Kymberli Rivers for her accomplishments as a literature and English teacher at Manatee High School; and Maria Underhill for her accomplishments as an eighth-grade reading teacher at Braden River Middle School. 

“I was once told that children are 25 percent of the population, but they are 100 percent of the future,” Buchanan said. “The education of a child and young adult is an investment, not only in that student, but in the future of our country.”

All of the nominated teachers were recognized by Buchanan on Friday evening.  The nine winners were also recognized by the Congressman in the Congressional Record for their achievements and were presented with a flag flown over the capital in their honor.

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