OKEECHOBEE- Yearling Middle School teacher Krista Stanley has been named Florida's 2021 Teacher of the Year.
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran made the announcement on a Zoom call on Aug. 4.
"This year has been super special because it has solidified that K-12 education is the backbone of America and our teachers are the frontline," said Corcoran. "I will say that we have all decided that the teacher of the year for this year is Krista Stanley of Okeechobee County."
This marks the first time an Okeechobee County School District teacher has been selected as a Florida’s Teacher of the Year in 30 years.
"I want to to say thank you," began Krista as she held back tears. "I couldn't do what I do without all the support in my district. My administrators supported and helped me become the educator I am today. My colleagues, family, and husband really support me and allow me to be myself. I love my job and am truly honored and humbled."
Okeechobee superintendent Ken Kenworthy was on the Zoom call and congratulated Mrs. Stanley.
"I'm excited for Krista," began Kenworthy . "It's been a long time since Okeechobee has had a teacher of the year. We appreciate you for representing Okeechobee. I know the selection committee got it right. You can provide valuable input and training. Your ability to focus on every student can be now shared. So proud of Yearling Middle for having one of their own recognized."
According to YMS principal David Krakoff, in 2019 86% of Mrs. Stanley’s students earned a proficient score on the Florida State Assessment.
"Krista has mastered the art of meeting the needs of all our students," said Krakoff on the call. "She is the model of what we can accomplish."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a separate announcement congratulating Krista on the accomplishment.
"In only four years of teaching she has quickly risen to the challenge and is an inspiration and role model not only for her students, but to her fellow education leaders," said Gov. DeSantis. "Krista, thank you for your dedication to your craft and to Florida's students. I'm looking forward to seeing the impact you'll make in the next year across our state."