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Martin County Teacher of the Year Selected at Fun-Filled Event

By Jackie Holfelder

When the gala event announcing the name of the Education Foundation of Martin County’s Teacher of the Year takes place, school spirit reaches a fever pitch!

The annual celebration, presented by Audi Stuart and Infiniti Stuart, is filled with fun and lots of good-hearted rivalry.

This year’s event took place on November 8 at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center as three teachers – out of a group of 23 – were selected as category winners for this highly respected honor.

The current Florida Teacher of the Year, Dr. Dakeyan Cha’ Dre’ Graham, was on hand to join in the celebration.

Category winners were:

  • Elementary School Teacher of the Year - Angela Roberts, Felix A. Willliams Elementary School; award sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities
  • Middle School Teacher of the Year - Laura Leister, Indiantown Middle School; award sponsored by The Education Foundation of Martin County
  • High School Teacher of the Year - Jennie Bellone, Willoughby Learning Center; award sponsored by Keiser University

Angela Roberts was selected as the overall Martin County Teacher of the Year. The award sponsored by Audi Stuart and Infiniti Stuart. She will represent the Martin County School District in the competition to select Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year. 

Roberts will also receive a one-year all expenses paid lease to an Audi or Infiniti of her choice.

Candidates are selected by their peers at the individual school levels. Community members also have the opportunity to vote and share how their favorite teacher has made a difference to their students and in our community. Once nominated, each teacher must submit a comprehensive written portfolio and participate in an intensive interview process. 

Guests enjoyed a buffet of heavy hors d'oeuvres and salads.  Each school has its own table, decorated in such themes as Game of Thrones and Puttin’ on the Ritz.  A spirited DJ adds to the upbeat atmosphere.

Schools enter the room individually, dancing and cheering to music selected by its own nominee who brings up the rear of the group accompanied by his or her own escort. Each person in the entourage is attired in outfits that complement the theme.

The Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) is a 501(c)(3) community investment organization comprised of business leaders, community volunteers and school officials with the common goal of enriching and enhancing the quality of education for students and educators in Martin County's public schools.  For more information, visit    


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