Orange County teacher named Florida Teacher of Year

Winner receives grant, trip to New York

Published On: Jul 11 2013 09:56:24 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 11 2013 08:55:04 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Dorina Sackman has been named Florida's Teacher of the Year, with the support of hundreds of students and colleagues at her side.

Sackman was the only local teacher that was a finalist of five teachers competing for the 2014 teacher of the year award.

“I believe so much in this profession and I believe so much in my children.” Sackman tells Local 6. “The passion I have so deep in my heart its something that comes out every time I talk about teaching, everytime I talk about my students and their successes.”

Sackman has been an 8th grade ESOL language arts teacher at Westridge Middle School for three years.

She's been teaching for 14 years and was chosen as a finalist among thousands of teachers throughout the state.

Described by co-workers as a natural communicator, Sackman speaks five languages which helps her communicate with all 120 of her students.

In an average class she hears 10 to 11 languages spoken among them. But for Sackman they aren't just students.

“I believe so much in my children. I can't call them students I have to call them my children," she said.

Sackman said she didn't believe she deserved the award more than anyone else but was proud to be the only teacher representing Orange County.

"Central Floridians, Orlando Floridans are rooting for me and once they meet me and I talk about it that's such a wonderful community coming together," Sackman said before Thursday night's event.

Sackman will receive a $10,000 grant and an all expense paid trip for four to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.