Krista Stanley Announced as Finalist for Florida’s 2021 State Teacher of the Year
History is Made: Krista Stanley Announced as Finalist for Florida’s State Teacher of the Year
Krista Stanley, Yearling Middle School's and Okeechobee County School District's teacher of the year, has taken her definitition fo greatness even a step further. During a zoom call on Wednesday with Florida Department of Education's Chancellor Dr. Jacob Oliva and FLDOE's Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Dr. Paul Burns, Mrs. Stanley was announced as one of five finalists for Florida's state teacher of the year.
This marks the first time an Okeechobee County School District teacher has been selected as a finalist for Florida's teacher of the year in 30 years. There are more than 200,000 public school teachers in Florida, so being chosen as one of five finalists for recognition as this year's best after only her fourth year in the profession initially left Mrs. Stanley speechless during the Zoom call.
"I'm in shock, I'm speechless," said a teary-eyed Mrs. Stanley.
As Superintendent Ken Kenworthy, Assistant Superintendent Pat McCoy, Yearling Principal David Krakoff, members of Okeechobee County's district office, and Mrs. Stanley's colleagues on her sixth grade math team at YMS shared thoughts with the chancellor and deputy chancellor, it became obvious how Mrs. Stanley earned this recognition and opporutnity to compete for state teacher of the year: Mrs. Stanley's presence makes others better. Everyone who has the privilege of being around her.
One after another member of her Okeechobee County team shared examples of how Mrs. Stanley has helped those around her grow. A member of Yearling Middle School's leadership team, it was shared by her colleagues how she has offered mentorship and leadership to their team during instructional planning and delivery. Mrs. Stanley's principal, Mr. Krakoff, lavished praised on Mrs. Stanley for serving as a model of equity in proving that all students can succeed when their teacher strategicially plans to meet the needs of all students. In 2019, a remarkable 86% of Mrs. Stanley's students earned a proficent score on the Florida State Assessment.
"Krista represents the reason that we are continuing to get better at Yearling Middle School," Krakoff said. "She has proven that all students can learn given a teacher like her. Krista has removed excuses for any student not learning by showing that all can when they have a teacher like her.
"Mr. Kenworthy called to let me know on Tuesday afternoon. I certainly felt a sense of pride in Krista knowing that in my 21 years in education, she truly is among the best I've worked with. Krista embodies equity - the commitment to bringing ALL kids to deep levels of learning. If all had teachers like Krista there would be no learning gaps in the United States. She's that good. So while I know there are many phenomenal teachers across our state, I also felt a sense of fulfillment for Krista because that young lady has worked so hard at her craft and for her students."
Okeechobee County School District's superintendent, Mr. Kenworthy, added how proud the entire district is of Mrs. Stanley, pointing to the fact that for the first time in 30 years the district has placed a teacher in the finals for the title of Florida's teacher of the year. Mr. Kenworthy also discussed how humble Mrs. Stanley always is in her work.
Kellyann Campbell, Yearling's math instructional coach, said, " I have been so blessed to work with Krista, not only as colleagues, but as a coach knowing that when I go into her classroom it's always a breath of fresh air because it's what we want for all of our students every day."
Finally, Mrs. Stanley found her words. "I couldn't have been successful without every one on this call," she said. "I'm so appreciative, and I just love my students. They're the reason I work hard and try to give every one of them what they need."
Our Mission and Vision
Yearling Middle School's Mission
Yearling Middle School will support ALL students’ academic and social emotional growth through student-centered, standards-aligned instruction, authentic and collaborative learning, differentiated instruction, and positive, supportive relationships.
Yearling Middle School's Vision
Yearling Middle School will prepare ALL students for success in college, career, and life.