BPS Honors Teacher of the Year Karrie Hieber and Employee of the Year Samuel Taswell During ABC Awards

By  //  January 30, 2021

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This year's socially distanced event was held at Eau Gallie High School

The Brevard Schools Foundation and Brevard Public Schools honored Teacher of the Year Karrie Hieber during the 10th annual ABC Awards celebration. (BPS image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard Schools Foundation and Brevard Public Schools honored Teacher of the Year Karrie Hieber and Employee of the Year Samuel Taswell during the 10th annual ABC Awards celebration on Thursday night.

This year’s socially distanced event was held at Eau Gallie High School and featured live music, food and inspirational stories of educators going above and beyond to serve students.

Hieber, an English teacher at Cocoa High won for 2021 Teacher of the Year. She is a Cocoa alum and says she can’t think of teaching anywhere else.

During her acceptance speech, she said that “teachers will not give up and teachers will continue to make a difference. And for that, I am proud of this profession.”

Hieber was selected from six outstanding finalists, including Christopher Bainbridge, Titusville High; Teresa Baggett-Hines, Palm Bay Elementary; Brent Poole, Challenger 7 Elementary, John Taylor, Suntree Elementary; and Jennifer Zifer, Central Middle School.

The Brevard Schools Foundation and Brevard Public Schools honored Employee of the Year Samuel Taswell during the 10th annual ABC Awards celebration. (BPS image)

Taswell, a network support technician at Golfview Elementary in Rockledge, was named 2021 Employee of the Year and said he believes everyone has a purpose.

After 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, he knew his community service was not over and traded in a military uniform for polo shirts and generals for principals.

Taswell says he was led to Golfview where he has had the chance to work with some amazing people.

Also nominated were William Deters, Astronaut High School; Vanessa Keys, Cocoa High; Lisa Peloquin, Coach Beach Jr./Sr. High; Deputy Vicky Sumlin, Fairglen Elementary; and Tracy Milardo-Walsh, Sea Park Elementary.

Space Coast Daily provided coverage during the four-part ABC Awards celebration, which began Monday night and concluded on Thursday. Each episode can be seen below:

WATCH: NIGHT IV – ABC Awards Ceremony and Announcement of Winners of Teacher and Employee of the Year.

WATCH: NIGHT III – Preview of Teachers of the Year.

WATCH: NIGHT IIPreview of Volunteers of the Year (Student, Adult & Senior), Brevard Schools Foundation Awards of Distinction and Employees of the Year

WATCH: NIGHT I – Preview of Administrators of the Year, Rookie Teachers of the Year and Emerging Teachers of the Year

WATCH: The 10th Annual ABC (Applauding Brevard’s Champions) Awards, presented by Community Credit Union and hosted by Brevard Schools Foundation, will be held the week of January 25 in a 4-night virtual livestream event that is open to the community.

Watch all the ABC Awards festivities live on Space Coast Daily TV

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The 10th Annual ABC (Applauding Brevard’s Champions) Awards, presented by Community Credit Union and hosted by Brevard Schools Foundation, will be held the week of January 25 in a 4-night virtual livestream event that is open to the community.

During this annual celebration of education, Brevard Public Schools will honor the winners of their top awards including Teacher of the Year (TOY ), Employee of the Year (EOY), Administrators of the Year, Volunteers of the Year and Brevard Schools Foundation Awards of Distinction.

Two categories recognizing educators who are relatively new to the profession are also included in the celebration, including Rookie Teachers of the Year and Emerging Teachers of the Year.

Tune in to the virtual format as the Brevard Public Schools Foundation presents a unique week-long celebration to recognize the champions of Brevard Public Schools.

The tribute will begin with Virtual Honoree Preview Nights from January 25 to 27 and the ABC Awards Dinner and Livestreamed Awards Presentation will be held on Thursday, January 28.

You can watch all the festivities live on Space Coast Daily TV.

THE ROOKIE TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD honors the exceptionally skilled and dedicated first year teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Devane Clarke of Cambridge Elementary, left; Alexandria Wicker of Jackson Middle School, center; and Megan Fernandez of Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, right are Brevard Public Schools Rookie Teachers of the Year. The winners will be honored at the 2021 Virtual ABC Awards Preview Night 1, set for January 25, beginning at 7 p.m.(BPS image)

TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST includes Christopher Bainbridge, Social Studies teacher at Titusville High School; Teresa Baggett-Hines, Title 1 teacher at Palm Bay Elementary; Karrie Hieber, English teacher at Cocoa High; Brent Poole, Physical Education teacher at Challenger 7 Elementary School; John O. Taylor, Elementary Teacher at Suntree Elementary School; and Jennifer Anne Zifer, Avid Coordinator at Central Middle School.

BREVARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR FINALIST includes Vanessa Keys, Office Clerk at Cocoa High School; Samuel Taswell, Associate III – Tech Network Support at Golfview Elementary Magnet School; Tracy Milardo-Walsh, School Secretary at Sea Park Elementary; William (Billy) Deters, Certified Custodian at Astronaut High School; Deputy Vicky Sumlin, Safety Resource Officer at Fairglen Elementary School; and Lisa Peloquin, School Secretary at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High.

The winner will be announced during the 2021 ABC Awards Gala Livestream on January 28.

The multi-night event will feature the following schedule of virtual events. Each night will highlight an awards category:

■ Monday, January 25 at 7 p.m.: Preview of Administrators of the Year, Rookie Teachers of the Year and Emerging Teachers of the Year

■ Tuesday, January 26 at 7 p.m.: Preview of Volunteers of the Year (Student, Adult & Senior), Brevard Schools Foundation Awards of Distinction and Employees of the Year

■ Wednesday, January 27 at 7 p.m.: Preview of Teachers of the Year

■ Thursday, January 28 at 7 p.m.: ABC Awards Ceremony and Announcement of Winners of Teacher and Employee of the Year

You can watch all the festivities live on Space Coast Daily TV.

“Even though we can’t host a large in-person event this year due to COVID, we are delighted to share the celebration via a series of livestreams so that our entire community can help us honor the everyday heroes who are dedicated and passionate about preparing our students for the future,” said Janice Kershaw, President/CEO, Brevard Schools Foundation.

“More than ever, we applaud their inspiring commitment to education.”

The ABC Awards are sponsored by Community Educators and businesses are invited to support education with a sponsorship of the 2021 ABC Awards.

For more information contact Pamela Gunthorpe at gunthorpe.pamela@brevardschools.org or call 321-633-1000 ext. 11474.

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