Chalkboard Champions

Past Winners

Chalkboard Champion: Teacher making students feel loved despite the pandemic

"I did not expect this at all, this is awesome. I'm about to cry, like this is so cool." That was the initial reaction from Jennifer Shelly when ABC 7 and May Custom Home surprised her with $500.

Chalkboard Champion: Teacher excelling through in-class and online learning

"Thank you! I absolutely love doing this. It's because of them why I'm here. I can't picture myself doing anything else," said Rebecca Rouse who is the newest Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County.

  Chalkboard Champion: Teacher finds true calling 30 years later

"It took me over 30 years to find my true profession and I couldn't be happier," that was the reaction from Oak Park School Teacher Steven Leavitt when he was surprised with $500.

  Chalkboard Champion: Former retired teacher, teaching and making a difference again

Suzi Shea is the newest Chalkboard Champion and recipient of $500 from May Custom Home. Shea retired from teaching after three decades and started volunteering at the school before becoming a full-time teacher again.

  Chalkboard Champion: Adapting the classroom amid the pandemic

Missy Windom has impacted students for more than three decades. She is a teacher at Southside Elementary

Chalkboard Champion: Creating relationships even behind face masks

A 5th grade teacher at Palmview Elementary School is the newest Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County.

  Chalkboard Champion: Providing the right ingredients for students of all abilities

A special education teacher is the newest Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County!

  Chalkboard Champion: E-learning teacher’s creativity keeping students learning

Sonja Schubring is a teacher at Annie Lucy Williams Elementary School in Parrish and is the newest ABC 7 and May Custom Home Chalkboard Champion.

  Chalkboard Champion: Creating special moments to keep technology students engaged

"She's such a great teacher and the kids really love her," said Raymond Wilson just before ABC 7 surprised the newest Sarasota County Chalkboard Champion.

Chalkboard Champion: Looping to first grade during the pandemic

A Manatee County teacher is being awarded $500 for how she has been helping students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Chalkboard Champion: Fostering normalcy in abnormal times

A Sarasota County teacher is being awarded $500 for the work she has been doing for her students throughout the pandemic.

  Chalkboard Champion: Paying bills and providing computers for students learning from home

A Manatee County teacher is being recognized as a Chalkboard Champion for going above and beyond for her students during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  Chalkboard Champion: Sewing masks by hand during a pandemic

In times of social distancing in the middle of a global pandemic, ABC7 and Gettel Automotive Chalkboard Champions surprises have gone virtual.

  Chalkboard Champion: Unsung hero of the hallway

Guidance counselors are often the unsung heroes in the schools but often times goes unrecognized.

Teacher at Southeast High School is being recognized for his work as a teacher and a coach

A teacher and coach at Southeast High School in Bradenton is the latest recipient of $500 and being named a Chalkboard Champion.

  Chalkboard Champion: Changing lives one student at a time

A Sarasota County parent has credited a teacher for the transformation that has been seen in her daughter over the last six months.

Chalkboard Champion: Learning manners and life skills through Family and Consumer Science class

Jill Bergeron is the newest ABC 7 and Gettel Automotive Chalkboard Champion and recipient of $500.

  Chalkboard Champion: Teacher combining love of teaching with passion for community service

A Sarasota County teacher is now the newest Chalkboard Champion and the recipient of $500.

Chalkboard Champion: Teacher known on campus as “the balloon man” awarded $500

A Manatee County teacher is now the newest Chalkboard Champion and the recipient of $500.

  Journalism teacher recognized as Chalkboard Champion

A Sarasota County teacher is now the newest Chalkboard Champion and the recipient of $500.

  Chalkboard Champion: High school teacher recognized for giving to students and beautifying campus

A Manatee County teacher is now the newest Chalkboard Champion and the recipient of $500.

  “The most humble” teacher recognized as Chalkboard Champion

"I am speechless and I usually talk nonstop," said Donna McGarry. That was her response when ABC 7 and Gettel Automotive surprised her classroom with $500.

  Chalkboard Champion: Elementary school teacher described as the “most patient and caring teacher”

For the month of October, Stacy Freeman was chosen at the Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County and received a $500 check from Gettel Automotive.

  Chalkboard Champion: Teacher recognized for going “above and beyond for his students”

School is back in session and so is the ABC 7 and Gettel Automotive surprise squad. Each month, we recognize a teacher who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of their students.

  15 cars full of donations and $10,000 raised for teachers on the Suncoast

This year, we wanted to do more to help teachers on the Suncoast. On Friday, August 2, all six Gettel locations opened their doors to the community. ABC7 was there as donations poured in and many teachers, past and present, stopped by to give their thanks.

  14 cars filled with supplies and more than $10,000 donated for teachers on the Suncoast

All day long, ABC7 was at the dealerships. Donors filled more than 14 vehicles with classroom supplies and gave more than $10,000!

Chalkboard Champions: Crusade for School Supplies

Every month during the school year, ABC7 honors an educator in Sarasota County and Manatee County as the “Chalkboard Champion" and now you can get involved!

  Chalkboard Champions helping local teachers pay for classroom supplies

ABC7 has teamed up with Gettel Automotive to celebrate teachers on the Suncoast - calling them “Chalkboard Champions." The community nominates a teacher and ABC7 selects two winners each month - one for Sarasota and Manatee County.

  Chalkboard Champion: Elementary school teacher who always arrives early, stays late

Chalkboard Champion & 5th Grade Teacher, Kara Carney (middle) poses with ABC 7's Ray Collins, Gettel Automotive's Roy Smalls, student Christian Vann, her mother Michelle Vann and Principal Pat Stream at Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary School in Manatee County.

  Chalkboard Champion: Special needs instructor with a special approach

Winner of the ABC 7 Gettel Automotive "Chalkboard Champion" for May in Sarasota is Josh Stolze of "Beyond the Spectrum" Education Center in Lakewood Ranch. Josh is with ABC 7 Anchor Ray Collins and Gettel Automotive's Fred Bartholomew.

  Chalkboard Champion: J.R. Boatwright of Johnson-Wakeland School

Mr. Boatwright, a Lakeland native, has been a teacher for 12 years, the past six in Bradenton. He says he loves what he does. And it shows.

  Chalkboard Champion: Clesha Allen of Booker Elementary School

ABC 7's Ray Collins, Emma E. Booker Elementary School Teacher Clesha Allen and Sandep SIngh of Gettel Automotive.

  Chalkboard Champions: Kindergarten teacher Loreena Durrance

Tara Elementary School Principal Laura Campbell, ABC 7 Anchor Ray Collins, Teacher Loreena Durrance and a representative from Gettel Automotive pose for this month's ABC 7 & Gettel Automotive 'Chalkboard Champion' for March in Manatee County.

  Chalkboard Champion: Coach Brenda Clark

She may not be a traditional teacher, but Brenda Clark has taught some Venice High School students more than they’ve ever learned in a classroom.

  Chalkboard Champion: Ms. Heather Camarda

Our Chalkboard Champion for February in Manatee County is Ms. Heather Camarda.

  Chalkboard Champion: Mr. Robert Craig

Our Sarasota County Chalkboard Champion for February is Mr. Robert Craig.

  Meet Chalkboard Champion Mrs. Katherine Choate!

Mrs. Katherine Choate is this month's Manatee County Chalkboard Champion!

  January Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County: Mr. Case from Venice High

The Venice High School teacher making a difficult subject easy to understand, by connecting what he teaches in the classroom to real life so his students quickly catch on.

  December Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County: Mrs. Eskildsen from Manatee High

We head to Bradenton for December’s Manatee County Chalkboard Champion. ABC7′s Jacqueline Matter takes us to Manatee High School to meet orchestra director, Emily Eskildsen.

  December Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County: Capt. Goodman from Sarasota Military Academy

December Chalkboard Champion of the month for Sarasota County

  November Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County: Mrs. Galletta from Electa Lee Middle

We head to Bradenton for November’s Manatee County Chalkboard Champion. ABC7′s Jacqueline Matter takes us to Electa Lee Middle School to meet Theater Director Starloe Galletta.

  November Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County: Mrs. Conley from Atwater Elementary

We head to North Port for November’s Sarasota County Chalkboard Champion. ABC 7′s Jacqueline Matter takes us to Atwater Elementary to meet first grade teacher Kayla Conley.

  October Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County: Mrs. McMahon from Rowlett Academy

BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - ABC7 is teaming up with Gettel Automotive to celebrate teachers in our community – we’re calling them the Chalkboard Champions.

Local News

Child pronounced dead after being hit by car at South Fishing Pier

We are receiving reports into our newsroom that emergency units are on scene of a major accident on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge near the South Fishing Pier.

  Spring break helping the Suncoast get back on track, boosting sales

Visit Sarasota reporting visitors flocking our Suncoast beaches during spring break, are the reason our local economy is thriving.

  Manatee County celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is a time to recognize dispatchers for their ability to act fast and manage high-stress situations, as they are the lifeline supplying firefighters, paramedics, and police officers with information.

10-year-old sends touching letter to Bradenton mayor about road safety sign for her neighborhood

A 10-year-old fourth-grader in Bradenton was sick of seeing speeders in her neighborhood. So, what did she do? She wrote a letter to the mayor.

  Acting Manatee County Administrator gives ABC7 inside look at Piney Point site

Inside look at Piney Point in Manatee County.

  Suncoast businesses hold roundtable on lost workforce

Business owners gathered at Sharky’s on the Pier on Friday to hold a roundtable meeting about the lower levels of labor they’ve been experiencing.

Community

Veteran who died with no family in Florida will be returned to rest in his old Kentucky home

The body of a Korean War hero who died in Florida will be taken on a 1,000 mile journey from Zephyrhills, Fla to Kentucky

Chalkboard Champion: Teacher making students feel loved despite the pandemic

"I did not expect this at all, this is awesome. I'm about to cry, like this is so cool." That was the initial reaction from Jennifer Shelly when ABC 7 and May Custom Home surprised her with $500.

Chalkboard Champion: Teacher excelling through in-class and online learning

"Thank you! I absolutely love doing this. It's because of them why I'm here. I can't picture myself doing anything else," said Rebecca Rouse who is the newest Chalkboard Champion for Manatee County.

Free food for students on the Suncoast over Spring Break

Several organizations in both Manatee and Sarasota counties are working hard to make sure that students will have food over spring break.

  Chalkboard Champion: Teacher finds true calling 30 years later

"It took me over 30 years to find my true profession and I couldn't be happier," that was the reaction from Oak Park School Teacher Steven Leavitt when he was surprised with $500.

  Manatee county food drive not only feeds humans, but also their furry friends

Mayors’ Feed the Hungry partnered with the National PTSD Service Association in a “Pets are Hungry, Too!” people and pet food drive on Saturday in Sutton Park. The food drive benefitted families and veterans struggling to feed their four-legged fur babies due to the COVID–19 pandemic.