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. 

2018-19 Teacher of the Year Melissa Pappas

Melissa Pappas currently is responsible for one of only five intensive units districtwide that serves students with severe behavioral, functional and academic needs.

Motivated by her passion for her students, this past year, Melissa launched a school-wide initiative during Autism Awareness Month. The monthlong celebration educated members of the school community and promoted acceptance, love, and understanding of persons with autism and special needs. As a result of the initiative, students began independently performing random acts of kindness, greeting and engaging with students with exceptionalities.

Melissa believes that “teaching is not only the one profession that teaches all other professions but the one profession that has the power to shape the future for all types of learners, and by advocating for our profession, we are advocating for the future: our students.”

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