OKEECHOBEE — When Florida Teacher of the Year Krista Stanley hits the road to share her enthusiasm for teaching with others, she’ll be driving a new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Chevrolet has provided Stanley with a new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer for which she has been given a free two-year lease courtesy of Gilbert Chevrolet in Okeechobee.
On Oct. 16, Gilbert Chevrolet manager Christa Luna presented Stanley with the keys to the vehicle in a small reception, maintaining CDC recommendations for social distancing and masks.
“The whole purpose for tonight is to congratulate and celebrate Krista Stanley,” said Luna. “Krista is a product of Okeechobee, and her parents are as well.”
She said Stanley being named Florida Teacher of the Year gives Okeechobee a lot to be proud of.
She said as Stanley travels around the state as Teacher of the Year, she will do a great job of representing her hometown.
“I appreciate this town,” said Stanley. “It made me the person I am today and the teacher I am today.”
GM Director Dealer of Diversity Relations Carlos Latour said there are more than 180,000 teachers in Florida, and being named the Florida Teacher of the Year is “incredibly special.”
He also congratulated Luna and the Gilbert Family of Companies for their legacy of commitment and service to the community, going back to the days of free holiday movies at the Gilbert Theater.
Latour said he now lives in Michigan but is always happy to come to the Lake Okeechobee area. He came to the United States from Cuba at age 4 and grew up in Belle Glade. “Belle Glade is my home,” he said.
Okeechobee County Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy thanked the Gilbert Family of Companies for their continued support of Okeechobee schools.
“We’re extremely proud of Krista,” said Kenworthy, noting she is a product of the Okeechobee County School District.
“When you have a teacher with that passion, that drive and that desire to serve her students, it not surprising” she would earn such an honor, he said.
During her time with the Okeechobee County School District, Krista developed her teaching practices and has become a leader within the district. She is a coach for her colleagues, a mentor for new teachers, a team leader for the other sixth-grade teachers and a district math representative.
In addition, Stanley supports her colleagues through curriculum development, textbook adoption and professional development. Using a standards-based approach, Stanley has a passion for not only supporting other teachers but also choosing the most effective instructional practices to ensure all her students receive a high-quality education.