Distance learning, a skill only recently important for teachers to master, helped an Okeechobee teacher stand out among her peers. Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran named Krista Stanley, a sixth grade teacher at Yearling Middle School in Okeechobee County, as the 2021 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Stanley earned the award from among more than 176,900 Florida public school teachers, in part because of her skill at engaging with students online during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As the 2021 Teacher of the Year, Stanley will receive a $20,000 check from the Florida Department of Education and a 2-Year Florida College scholarship, from the Florida Prepaid College Board, worth $8,000 to present to a student of her choice.
“2020 is the Year of the Teacher, and I am thrilled to name Krista Stanley as Florida’s Teacher of the Year,” said DeSantis. “The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the importance of having a great teacher in front of every Florida student. A great teacher is critical to ensuring every student receives a world-class education. Florida educators have done an incredible job engaging students in distance learning and it has been noticed across the nation. In only four years of teaching, Krista has quickly risen to the challenge and is an inspiration and role model not only to her students but to her fellow educational leaders. She is a wonderful example of the thousands of Florida teachers who have dedicated their lives to inspire the minds of our students.”
During her time with the Okeechobee County School District, Krista developed her teaching practices and has become a leader within the district. She is a coach for her colleagues, a mentor for new teachers, a team leader for the other sixth-grade teachers and a district math representative. In addition, Krista supports her colleagues through curriculum development, textbook adoption and professional development.
Using a standards-based approach, Krista has a passion for not only supporting other teachers, but also choosing the most effective instructional practices to ensure all her students receive a high quality education.
“We are honored to recognize Krista Stanley for being selected as the 2021 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year,” said Corcoran. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of a very important reality – that a great teacher in front of every student is absolutely essential. Krista’s passion and commitment inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, achieve, and work towards a great future for themselves, their communities, and the world. I look forward to working with her in the upcoming school year.
As the 2021 Florida Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Stanley will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, working to create greater public awareness of Florida’s outstanding teachers and elevating the education profession. She will have the opportunity to promote and celebrate the countless contributions of Florida’s teachers, provide professional learning opportunities to educators and recruit future teachers into the education field.