Governor Scott Honors Seven Patriotic Teachers with Shine Awards

~ Teachers recognized during Cabinet Meeting for military and teaching service ~

During today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized seven educators who formerly served in various branches of the military with the Governor’s Shine Award for their service to our country and their contributions to Florida’s students.

Governor Scott said, “Recognizing the men and women who have not only served our country, but are now also teaching Florida students is a tremendous honor. Florida’s education system continues to succeed because of the dedication of educators like these. I want to thank these teachers for their dedicated service both to our country and our classrooms.”

The Shine Award is presented to Floridians who have positively impacted children through education.

Shine Award Recipients:

Carol Dintino, U.S. Air Force, Pasco County, Gulf Trace Elementary School – Dintino retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama. She currently teaches 5th grade Science, Technology, English and Math (STEM) subjects at Gulf Trace Elementary School in Holiday. After school, Dintino oversees the STEM club in an effort to help her students enjoy learning.

Michael McCarty, U.S. Army, Polk County, Union Academy – McCarty entered active duty with the United States Army in 1978 and retired in 2011. He left the Army for a brief time to earn the degree that would later allow him to enter the classroom. In 1994, McCarty took a full-time teaching position with Union Academy Magnet School in Bartow and moved into the inactive reserves until his retirement in 2011. He now teaches film classes and works as the school’s network manager and web master.

Harold Weston, U.S. Army, Polk County, George Jenkins High School – Weston continues to serve in the Army Reserve approaching 27 years of service. He has a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Science Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the University of South Florida. Prior to beginning his teaching career in 2012, Weston accumulated more than 20 years of drafting and design experience in the building and manufacturing industries in various roles ranging from drafter to project manager to engineering services manager. He is currently teaching Drafting/Technical Design at George Jenkins High School in Lakeland.

Stephen Ross, U.S. Army, Pinellas County, Madeira Beach Fundamental School Ross served in the United States Army for 20 years in both tactical and strategic communications positions. His participation in the Great American Teach-In and Presidential Classroom convinced him that teaching was a worthy second career after active duty retirement, and he pursued his Master’s degree in Education at Marymount University, Virginia. An educator for 13 years in Pinellas County Schools, he currently teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Madeira Beach Fundamental School in St. Petersburg.

Layne Boone, U.S. Navy, Hillsborough County, Burns Middle School – Boone retired from the United States Navy after 23 years of service. During the majority of those years, she was a Personnel, Management and Training Officer. She began teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade Math in Hillsborough County at Young Middle Magnet School in 2007 and transferred to Burns Middle School in 2008. She believes it is very important for each of her students to feel that she not only cares about their success in the classroom, but also about their success in life.

Regenia Smith, U.S. Marine Corps, Hillsborough County, Collins Elementary School Smith retired from the United States Marine Corps after 21 years of active duty service. After retirement she fulfilled her long-time dream of becoming an educator and received a Master of Education Leadership degree from Strayer University. Her teaching career began three years ago after being a substitute teacher for four years. She currently teaches 4th grade at Collins Elementary in Riverview. The philosophy for her students is “student success through academic achievement.”

Kerry Poole, U.S. Air Force, Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Tech High School – Poole served 20 years of active duty military service with the United States Air Force before retiring in 2004. Following his retirement, he earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Florida (USF) and has recently completed all of the requirements for a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. He will graduate from USF in May 2014. Poole has been teaching high school Social Studies since 2006 and currently teaches 10th grade Advanced Placement World History at Tampa Bay Tech High School. Poole believes quality Social Studies education should play a fundamental role in developing and inspiring youth to be informed, engaged citizens in our democracy.


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