Governor Scott Recognizes Educators with the Governor’s Shine Award


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November 7, 2017

Governor's Press Office
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Governor Scott Recognizes Educators with the Governor’s Shine Award

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized 18 outstanding educators with the Governor’s Shine Award. The Shine Award is presented to teachers and administrators in Florida who make significant contributions to the field of education. In recognition of Veterans Day, 15 of the educators honored today are veterans and are now teaching in Florida public schools. 

Governor Rick Scott said, “I am proud to present these outstanding educators with the Governor’s Shine Award today. I would like to thank them for their service to our country and for their commitment to ensuring all students reach their full potential. The educators honored today represent Florida’s extraordinary teaching staff who are dedicated to preparing students for success in college and career.” 

The following educators were presented with the Governor’s Shine Award:

Rita Michelle Barnett, Hillsborough County – Rita Barnett has been teaching kindergarten and first grade at Forest Hills Elementary School in Tampa for 11 years. Prior to her teaching career, Rita served nine years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant. In addition to earning numerous recognitions, including the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Joint Achievement Medal, Rita mentors with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

Michelle Bily, Clay County – Michelle Bily has been teaching for ten years, with the most recent year at Doctors Inlet Elementary School in Clay County. Michelle is the 2018 Clay County District Teacher of the Year.

Raul Bonano Alvira, Hillsborough County – Raul Bonano Alvira has been teaching for five years at McLane Middle School in Tampa, where he teaches 7th and 8th grade mathematics. Raul previously served 11 years with the U.S. Army, earning the rank of Specialist E4 and earning the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal "M" Device.

Sergeant Major Russell Brown, Leon County – Master Sergeant Brown is a Senior Marine Instructor at Leon High School in Tallahassee, where he teaches Leadership Education in the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. MSgt. Brown served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 27 years, where he earned a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Commendation.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Otis D. Campbell, Leon County – SCPO Otis D. Campbell served with the U.S. Navy for 25 years and is currently a Marine Science Instructor in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee. During his military career, SCPO Campbell earned four Navy Commendation Medals, six Navy Achievement Medals, two Meritorious Unit Commendation Medals, six Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Master Sergeant Eddie D. Carnley, Leon County – MSgt. Eddie D. Carnley served 24 years with the U.S. Air Force before beginning his teaching career at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, where he teaches Leadership/Management with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. MSgt. Carnley.

William (Bill) David, Escambia County – Bill Davis served with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserves for 35 years prior to beginning his teaching career as an Aircraft Maintenance instructor at George Stone Technical Center in Escambia County. During his distinguished military career, Bill worked with the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters and earned the rank of Master Sergeant.

Judy Davis, Escambia County – Judy Davis has been teaching for 14 years in Escambia County, where she is a Career Education Coach for middle and high school students. Prior to her teaching career, Judy served with the U.S. Air Force for 10 years where she attained the rank of Master Sergeant, and for the past 8 ½ years has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Judy is also a National Board Certified educator.

Jessica Ehlinger, Clay County – Jessica Ehlinger has been teaching for 12 years, and currently teaches gifted education at Ridgeview Elementary School in Orange Park. Jessica is a Florida Techer LEAD Network alumnus, a two-time Fishman Prize nominee, and is the 2017 Clay County Teacher of the Year.

Lt. Colonel Reginald D. Howard, Leon County – Lt. Colonel Reginald D. Howard has been teaching Army Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps for the past five years at the Florida A&M University Developmental Research School after serving 24 years in the U.S. Army. LTC Howard served with distinction, earning numerous commendations including the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and NATO Medal.

Master Sergeant Jerome A. Kerrison, Leon County – Master Sergeant Jerome A. Kerrison served in the U.S. Army for 21 years before beginning his 20-year teaching career. MSgt. Kerrison teaches Leadership Education and Training in the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Rickards High School in Tallahassee. While serving in the Army, MSgt. Kerrison was awarded with numerous commendations, including the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal (4th Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Expert Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge and Expert Rifle Badge. MSgt Kerrison was also honored as the Teacher of the Year by the Veterans for Foreign Wars Post 1351 in Gadsden County and is a member of Europe’s prestigious “Sergeant Morales Club.”

James B. Maxwell, Duval County – James Maxwell has been teaching fifth grade mathematics for nine years at Joseph Finegan Elementary School in Jacksonville. He formerly served nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of E9 Master Chief Petty Officer. During his notable military career, he was awarded with the Meritorious Service Medal, five different Navy Accommodations medals, and three different Navy Achievement medals. James was also the 2015-16 Joseph Finegan Teacher of the Year.

DeVaughn Parks, Duval County – DeVaughn Parks has been teaching for seven years, with the last two teaching grades 4 and 5 math and science at North Shore Elementary School in Jacksonville. DeVaughn served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of E6/Hospital Corpsman, 1st class. He has been evaluated as a highly effective teacher for three consecutive years and is a two-time recipient of the Quality Education for All grant.

William (Bill) Peck, Wakulla County – Bill Peck served with the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division for four years prior to beginning his teaching career at Wakulla Middle School. While serving in the Army, Bill earned the rank of Sergeant E5. He currently teaches Science and U.S. History, while also working as the school’s athletic director and assistant football coach.

Lt. Colonel Robert E. Proctor, Leon County – Lt. Colonel Robert E. Proctor served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, and currently teaches Leadership, Education and Training in the AROTC program at Rickards High School in Tallahassee. He has been teaching for seven years. During his illustrious military career, LTC Proctor earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger tab and Master Parachutist Badge, and served in combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.

Gunnery Sergeant Anthony L Reaves Sr., Leon County – Gunnery Sergeant Anthony L. Reaves, Sr., served with the U.S. Marine Corp for 22 years prior to beginning his 25-year teaching career. He has been teaching Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Leon High School in Tallahassee for the past 18 years. During his military service, Gunnery Sergeant Reaves earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two gold stars in lieu of third award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, four gold stars in lieu of fifth award, and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal in lieu of Silver Star.

Keli Sare, Charlotte County – Keli Sare has been teaching for 16 years, the last 15 of which at Sallie Jones Elementary in Port Charlotte. She is currently a Lead Teacher, providing lessons in all subject areas to students in grades K-5, as well as serving as a curriculum coach and providing professional development lessons for staff. Keli is the 2018 Charlotte County District Teacher of the Year.

Katherine Scalzo, Duval County – Katherine Scalzo served three years active duty with the U.S. Army and one year with the with the Army National Guard prior to becoming an educator. She has been a teacher for 14 years and currently teaches writing, math, science and social studies at Atlantic Beach Elementary in Jacksonville. During her service in the U.S. Army, Katherine attained the rank of E-4 Specialist. 

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