SPOY Finalists
The Support Person of the Year award honors educational support personnel for the contributions they make to their schools, district-level sections, units, and departments. The district's Support Person of the Year represents Orange County to compete at the state level to be named at the annual Florida School-Related Employee of the Year.

Congratulations to the 2023-24 Support Person of the Year Finalists!

Andrea Teixeira
Andrea Teixeira da Silveira, Paraprofessional Bilingual Portuguese
Endeavor Elementary
Proficient in both Portuguese and English, Andrea Texeira is an invaluable bridge in narrowing the language barrier between English Language Learners and their teachers. As a member of Endeavor's multicultural committee, she contributes to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the school community as well as planning events. Teixeira da Silveira was inspired to become a paraprofessional after seeing her own daughter’s experiences as an English language learner in school. In her role, Teixeira da Silveira works to increase both parental involvement and support for English Language Learners. She is an acknowledged leader at her school who helps in the cafeteria, with arrival and dismissal and helps support staff. draws from her experience of adapting to a new culture and language and provides students and parents with not only academic but emotional support during their adjustment and supports families navigating the OCPS education system.

Rina SantiagoRina Santiago, External Bookkeeper
Evans High
Besides managing finances at Evans HS, Santiago is a compassionate advocate for the leaders of tomorrow. Santiago encourages youth overcoming personal obstacles to succeed academically with pride and determination. She has gone the extra mile to reduce truancy by conducting weekly home visits and calling parents. Last year, Santiago and other staff members visited more than 1,500 families and made 1,000 phone calls. As a result of their endeavors, Evans HS saw 87% improvement in attendance and/or grades among students struggling in those areas. Over the past 7 years, Santiago has become indispensable at Evans, consulting daily with multiple colleagues to see how she can best assist – either during or beyond the workday. Santiago’s participation in OCPS’ Emerging Leaders program has provided her with strategies she uses daily. Santiago’s many accolades include a 2021 Stellar award.

Tatiana CozzoTatiana Cozzo, Secretary
Hunter’s Creek Middle
Tatiana Cozzo’s heart belongs to the students of Hunter’s Creek MS. She started out as a Portuguese-speaking bilingual paraprofessional helping students acquire English language skills about 2 ½ years ago. She has continued to provide emotional support and serve as a “safe adult” for students in her current role as the school’s secretary. Described as the foundation of the school, Cozzo created a math competition using Kahoot during morning wait time. More than 200 students participated in the game, which included prizes that Cozzo got donated. Cozzo also is the school’s Partners in Education coordinator. She hosts chats about how to volunteer and work with the school system for Brazilian parents outside school hours. She is also in the process of completing a Master's in School Counseling. Cozzo is an asset to the academics and social well-being of students at Hunter’s Creek MS.

Tara QuintalTara Quintal, Senior Technology Support Representative
ITS Southeast Region
Quintal takes seriously her role ensuring district IT systems work for everyone. In addition to schools and departments, her role includes supporting the Assistive Technology team. Quintal has helped students learn as independently as possible, such as a blind student who uses software to compose music and another student who attends classes through the use of a robotic device. She has presented at the OCPS Media and Tech Extravaganza for media specialists and Technology Support Representatives, and there have been improvements in the process for submitting tech request tickets as a result. She helps coordinate technology for the OCPS Parent Academy and is frequently requested by schools and work sites. Quintal is a leader among her peers and helps train new TSRs. She is highly effective and empathetic, and has had multiple people cry in relief when she has been able to fix their technology.

Bonita KellyBonita Kelly, Health clinic program assistant
Union Park Elementary
For nine years, Kelly has ensured the well-being of Union Park ES students each day as program assistant in the health clinic. But her impact extends far beyond student health. Kelly is the glue that holds the school together, with deep connections with all of the school’s students, their families, and school staff. Not only does Kelly organize food donations, plan staff morale events and work with the school’s partners, she also helps conduct home visits. Recognizing that students’ basic needs must be met for them to succeed in the classroom, Kelly reached out to Operation Warm, which provided every student with brand-new winter coats and shoes. Kelly’s colleagues say she creates a warm and loving environment and that her communication skills, commitment to serving others and focus on details significantly contribute to the wellness of the school community.

Stellar Awards Sponsors

Addition Financial Logo



Cigna Logo



Ernie Morris Logo



    Schenkel Shultz Logo

 Silva's Painting 



Logo of Rosen Shingle Creek



Strawbridge Studios Logo