By Tamas Mondovics

King High School graduate and now Spoto High School English Department Chair, writing coach, and Student Government sponsor, Cassandra Mattison, enjoyed the limelight last month during a banquet hosted by the Hillsborough Education Foundation in her honor as the 2012-13 Teacher of the Year for Hillsborough County.

Mattison’s recognition did not end at the event as fellow teachers, members of the school administration along with many members of the community continued to share their congratulations for the well-deserved honor in person, through emails or signs posted throughout the school and the community.

“I would not be standing where I am today were it not for teachers like you,” Mattison reportedly told the audience of more than 2,000 educators after she thanked everyone for their support.

Spoto High school Principal, Phill Carr, did not hesitate to speak highly of Mattison as he commented on her achievement.

“She is a gifted teacher and an asset to our school,” Carr said, adding “Her award is well-deserved. I’m overjoyed for her.”

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding teachers who have been nominated as the Teacher of the Year for their school site.

Each year, all schools in the district are invited to nominate one teacher at its site whom they feel is the most well-rounded and professional, after which finalists are selected by a district committee and individually interviewed.

With her win, Mattison, 31 is now in the running to compete for Florida State Teacher of the Year and potentially the national Teacher of the Year. She, along with her husband, Tim Mattison, also a teacher at Spoto High School, lives in the Riverview community.

This year’s Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year and the district’s top instructional support employee awards also find their rightful recipients, which respectively included special-needs students and English language learners arts and social studies teacher Socorrito Claudio, who teaches language  at Wimauma Elementary School, and Carrollwood’s Essrig Elementary School secretary Maryann Bordonaro.

For more information about Hillsborough County Public schools and Spoto High School please  visit


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