Congratulations to our Teacher of the Year Finalists: Claire Erk, Bluewater ES; Devon LaMonica, FWBHS; and Allison Marello, Ruckel MS.

The Okaloosa County School District announced the three Teacher of the Year Finalists on Monday, December 16, 2019. The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the annual Banquet being held at the Emerald Coast Conference Center on Thursday, January 23, 2020. The finalists are:

Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School

Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School

Claire is a 5th grade math/science teacher who loves watching her students get excited about math and science through hands-on activities. She encourages her students to use their curiosity to develop new ways to complete problems and ask more questions about the world around them. She is the Academic Team coach and Young Astronaut sponsor at Bluewater and enjoys taking her students to Space Camp every year. She is a proud wife to Chris and mom to Stephen at FSU as well as Matthew and Laura both at Niceville High. She loves to hear them play with the Eagle Pride.

Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School

Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School

Devon LaMonica is a Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science teacher at Ft Walton Beach High School, her alma mater. She has been teaching science at FWBHS for 13 years. She attended the University of Central Florida; earned a BS in Forensic Science Biochemistry; the University of West Florida; earned an MEd in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. She is nationally recognized as a Biomedical Science Master Teacher & trains new Biomedical Science teachers all over the country. She has a daughter named Cadence and enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband Kyle.

Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School

Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School

Allison Marello is a Language Arts' teacher at Ruckel Middle School in her 22nd year in this district hoping to better the world one child at a time! She takes her job seriously being her students' "school" mom cinching up loose pants with safety pins, issuing tissues and words of encouragement, and handing out snacks to hungry kiddos! Sending her a student means they will be loved as they learn to: read with a pencil in their hand, speak positively to their inner selves, be kinder than necessary to others, and care about their education!