Right Photo: Photo by Kendra Oestreich
Sessums Elementary School ESE teacher, Alicia Fojaco smiles as she receives the news of being selected as one of four finalists for Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year.

Left Photo: Photo by Kendra Oestreich
Spoto High School Varying Exceptionalities teacher, Jonathan Collier, enjoys the spotlight as one of four finalists for the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year.

By Tamas Mondovics

SouthShore Teachers Among 2018 Excellence In Education Awards Finalists

The Hillsborough Education Foundation traveled to schools around the county last month to surprise 13 top-notch educators as finalists for this year’s Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards.

The 13 finalists, included a pair of SouthShore area teachers: Spoto High School Varying Exceptionalities teacher Jonathan Collier and Sessums Elementary School ESE teacher, Alicia Fojaco represent the best of the best in Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The two were of four finalists for the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year (IDA) Award.
A winner in each category will be announced at the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards presented by the Suncoast Credit Union on January 16, 2017, at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. 

2018 Excellence in Education Facts:

◦Total Nominees – 650
◦Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year (IDA) – 211
◦ Instructional Support Employee of the Year (ISEOY) – 203
◦Teacher of the Year (TOY) – 236
◦Finalists – 13 (four finalists for IDA, four finalists for ISEOY; five finalists for TOY)
For a complete list, and information about the 2018 Excellence in Education Awards, presented by the Suncoast Credit Union, visit www.educationfoundation.com.

Spoto High Hosts Mock DUI Crash Awareness Presentation

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Division, in conjunction with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue presented a Mock DUI crash to students at Spoto High School earlier this month.

The 30-45 minute program demonstrated the dangers of drunk driving including the realities of what may occur during a crash involving an impaired driver.

Spoto High School students willingly played the roles of the vehicle drivers and passengers.
The presentation is put on by HCSO in conjunction with HCFR and our outstanding community partners at TGH Aeromed, Professional Towing, and Blount and Curry Funeral Homes.
The Sheriff’s Office has been conducting Mock DUI Crash events for nearly 15 years, as it visits about four schools per year.

“If possible, the presentation aims to accommodate a school safety event such as a buckle-up event, homecoming or holiday season,” said HCSO Public Information Officer Larry, McKinnon.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the well-received program continues making its way through all the local high schools as the sad, but very effective presentation demonstrates the reality of what can happen when drinking and driving.

Student Sarah Walker agreed as she emphasized that the program made its point well, adding that while at first some of the students did not take the event seriously, things quickly changed as they watched the student killed in the crash removed.

For information about the Mock DUI Crash event, please visit, www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.