The Teacher of the Year award recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teachers who demonstrate a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. The district’s Teacher of the Year represents Orange County at the state level to compete for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Francisco Cardoza

When Village Park Elementary opened in 2021, Francisco Cardoza jumped right in. In his classroom, students are welcomed with a handshake and a high-five. He infuses motivational chants and songs into his daily instruction and is known for radical classroom transformations, such as turning his room into a NASCAR race track while teaching force and motion. He started the school’s National Elementary Honor Society chapter and Safety Patrol, leads a house, helps run the school’s Amazing Shake initiative – which teaches professional skills to students – and regularly tutors and mentors students. At Village Park ES, a majority of students speak Spanish. As a native Spanish-speaker and former English-language learner, Cardoza offers the same encouragement and high expectations that his own teachers had for him.

Congratulations to the 2022-23 Teacher of the Year Finalists!

Jessica Sarduy | Blankner School
Joy Cahow | Endeavor Elementary
Kerry Hastings | Tangelo Park Elementary
Melissa Williams | Washington Shores Elementary

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