By Tamas Mondovics

Hard work and commitment to their young students were recognized last month when two 4th grade Nelson Elementary School teachers received recognition as heroes of the month.
The ceremony, held at the school at 5413 Durant Rd. in Dover, awarded gifted-student teacher Jennifer Cuebas as Hero of the Month and math and science teacher Kristin Holt as runner-up.

Hero of the month is a recognition sponsored by Homes for Heroes Inc., (HFH) the largest nationwide network of affiliate real estate and lending specialists and local business who provide firefighters, teachers, law enforcement, military, healthcare workers and veterans an easy way to save money when buying a home.

The organization was established as a way to say, ‘Thank You’ to the nation’s heroes following the tragic events of 9/11.

A portion of Homes for Heroes earnings is donated to the Homes for Heroes Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that assists heroes in need.

To honor them as Teachers of the Month, Celeste Taylor Kerina, a new Ambassador with the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce and a member of the chamber under Homes For Heroes, presented Cuebas and Holt with a plaque and gift bags.

“I presented the student body with nominations to select a teacher hero of the month and the students selected the winner and 1st runner-up,” Kerina said, adding that HFH is committed to giving back to local heroes, especially teachers, that serve the community.

“This award is our way to recognize them for doing all they do,” she said. “Teachers diligently serve and sacrifice for our families to educate our children and motivate them to excel. Teachers mold lives into greatness.”

According to Nelson principal Mary Lou Hewett, the students’ nomination was unanimous as they described Holt and Cuebas, being kind, loving, caring and patient teachers.

“We are very proud of them,” Hewett said. “The students look forward to coming to school and learning. This event is a reflection of both our teachers and our students.

Honored and grateful for the recognition, Cuebas and Holt both expressed their appreciation and gratefulness while they spoke highly of the students.

“It means a lot that they appreciate what we do for them,” Cuebas said.

Holt added, “They are all great kids; easy to teach and encourage each other.”

For more information about Homes for Heroes, please visit

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