‘Manatee Educator and Support Staff of the Year’ named

Manatee County's 2023 Excellence in Education Awards names recipients.
Manatee County's 2023 Excellence in Education Awards names recipients.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 2:06 PM EST
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PARRISH, Fla. (WWSB) - The 2023 Excellence in Education Awards named Kelly Smith-Williams and Brianna Hall educator and support employee of the year.

The award ceremony was held at Parrish Community High School on Thursday evening.

First Row: (L-to-R) Superintendent Cynthia Saunders, Brianna Hall (Support Employee of the...
First Row: (L-to-R) Superintendent Cynthia Saunders, Brianna Hall (Support Employee of the Year), Kelly Smith-Williams (Educator of the Year), Deputy Superintendent Doug Wagner; Second Row: Representatives from Suncoast Credit Union; Third Row: (L-to-R) School Board Member Gina Messenger, School Board Member Mary Foreman.(School District of Manatee County)

A Manatee County school district media release stated that Smith-Williams will advance to the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program, while Brianna Hall will advance to the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Program.

Smith-Williams is an anatomy and physiology honors teacher at Lakewood Ranch High School who has been with the Manatee County school district for 7 years.

She has helped students by introducing them to innovative online learning tools, serving as an advisor on various boards and helping students during the summer to stay on track for graduation.

“Ms. Smith-Williams is the consummate education professional - a teacher in every sense of the word,” said Principal Dustin Dahlquist.

Brianna Hall is an assistant school clerical at Lincoln Memorial Middle School and has been with the school district for 3 years.

She created Lincoln’s parent teacher organization and serves as the president.

Hall is a versatile employee according to the schools administrators, who travels over 100 miles each weekday to perform her duties as well as tutors students with homework.

“Brianna’s respectfulness allowed students to trust her enough to give reading their best shot, even though they were struggling,” said Principal Ronnie King.

Both winners received a $5,000 cash prize, provided by Suncoast Credit Union; an all-expenses paid gathering for 24 friends and family in the Mayor’s Suite at LECOM Park in Bradenton during a Marauders game. Four tickets to a 2023 spring training game, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bradenton Marauders; a one-night stay at the Courtyard by Marriott/Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton; customized spa service from Sirius Day Spa; and more, according to the media release.

The six finalists received a $1,000 cash award and other prizes from the Manatee Education Foundation.

The awards are made possible by the support of the Foundation and other event sponsors.