Florida Department of Education makes teacher of the year announcement

Event billed as 'important announcement' held virtually

Empty classroom (Pixlr)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Officials from the Florida Department of Education touted an “important announcement” Tuesday that ultimately ended up being the announcement of the teacher of the year.

A news release provided by the department around noon only billed the virtual event as an “important announcement” but did not provide details on the nature of the 4 p.m. announcement or who would be speaking.

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In a text to News 6 minutes before the online meeting was set to take place, an aide with the governor’s office said the DOE’s “important announcement” was to unveil the teacher of the year.

Krista Stanley from Yearling Middle School in Okeechobee County was ultimately given the title.

The “important announcement” comes as Florida schools are just weeks away from opening campuses back up to allow students to attend classes in a face-to-face setting for the first time since classrooms closed in mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19.

Locally, the 10 school districts have given parents the option to choose between sending their children back to school in person or allowing them to continue classes online. Some local school boards have also developed models that blend the two methods.

In July, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an executive order requiring school districts to open up schools for in-person learning at the beginning of the fall semester.

In order to meet that requirement, some districts across the state have made the decision to push back the start date for the upcoming academic year.

Tune in at 4 p.m. to watch the announcement live using the video player at the top of this story.