Cathy Beaudoin, Pryor MS, Named 2016 Department of Education-Macy's Teacher of the Year Finalist

Every day, teachers from across Florida create magic in their classrooms.  Today, from a group of 72 teachers, Catherine Beaudoin of W.C. Pryor Middle School in Okaloosa County received a magical surprise that she has been chosen as one of five finalists to compete for the 2016 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Award!

“We are thrilled to announce that Cathy Beaudoin, our district’s Teacher of the Year, from Pryor Middle School, has been announced as one of the five finalists for the 2016 Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year. That's out of 180,000 teachers!” said Superintendent of Schools, Mary Beth Jackson.

The Superintendent met Commissioner Pam Stewart at Pryor Middle School this morning as the announcement was made to everyone’s surprise!

“It is with pride that we send our warmest ‘Congratulations’ to her as she progresses on to the next round! We are honored to have Okaloosa schools represented in this manner,” said Jackson.

For twenty-seven years, Macy’s along with the Florida Department of Education has honored the most exceptional educators in Florida who make magic in and out of their classrooms every day.  The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who have demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.  

At 8:30 a.m., Florida Department of Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart, along with Paul Imbrone, Macy’s Vice President Government and Public Affairs, was on hand to make the big surprise announcement.  The 6th & 7th grade Language Arts teacher was called by Principal Grant Meyer and told that she has been chosen as one of five finalists for the prestigious honor. This year’s surprise announcement happened to fall during National Teacher Appreciation Week, a weeklong celebration of teachers in the U.S.

“I am so incredibly humbled, honored, and excited to represent Okaloosa County as a State Finalist for the 2016 Florida Teacher of the Year recognition program.  Okaloosa County has the most talented, hard-working teachers in the state, and it is such a pleasure to work with and have been mentored by such an remarkable group of educators.  We are very fortunate to have such a supportive administration, starting with our Superintendent, Mrs. Jackson, and I am so grateful for the administrators at Pryor Middle School, Mr. Meyer, Mrs. Nehring, and Mr. Panucci, for always putting the students’ interests first and supporting the teachers’ efforts to foster the love of learning in each student of Okaloosa County.  I look forward to representing Pryor Middle School and Okaloosa County at the state level in Orlando this summer,” said Cathy Beaudoin.

Upon receiving the good news, Catherine Beaudoin was presented with a $5,000 check made possible by the Macy’s Foundation and a $500 Macy’s gift card.   A $1,000 check, also funded by the Macy’s Foundation, was presented to the finalist’s school.  This year, the Macy’s Foundation will contribute over $100,000 in cash to the state-run Teacher of the Year program, as it has done since 1988.

“At Macy’s, we feel teachers are our state’s greatest human resource.  That’s one reason why we’re proud of our long-standing commitment to education in Florida,” said Darlene Hanes, Macy’s Executive Vice President and Regional Director of Stores.  “The Teacher of the Year program gives us the opportunity to honor the best educators in the state as well as motivate teachers to strive for excellence in their own communities.”

“Great teachers find ways to ensure every student has the chance to meet his or her highest potential,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.  “It’s an honor to recognize Catherine Beaudoin as a statewide finalist for Florida Department of Education Macy’s Teacher of the Year for her contributions to her students, school and community.”

The winner of the 2016 Macy’s/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year award will be announced during a ceremony on Thursday, July 9, 2015.  The event, hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Deborah Norville, will be held at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios CityWalk.

For the 27th year, Macy’s will sponsor and produce the awards ceremony.  During the event, the remaining nominees from around the state will be recognized for their achievements and excellence in teaching.  Each of the nominees will be presented with a $750 personal cash award and a $250 grant for their school, funded by the Macy’s Foundation.

In addition to a $10,000 grant funded by the Macy’s Foundation, the Teacher of the Year will receive awards from Macy’s including an all-expense paid trip for four to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The winner will also serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, touring the state to spread the word about educational opportunities and challenges in the Sunshine State. To date, Macy’s and the Macy’s Foundation have contributed over $2.8 million to teachers throughout the state.

This year’s five finalists were chosen from more than 180,000 public school teachers throughout the state by a Department of Education-appointed selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community.  Each finalist is selected on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service.  The winner must also show a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

About Macy’s

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores -- including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California -- are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers, employees and Macy's Foundation, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

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