Diane McKee, a language arts teacher at Williams Middle Magnet School was announced the winner of the Florida Department of Education - Macy’s Teacher of the Year at a ceremony Thursday night. McKee was surrounded by her mother, father, her husband, two children, and friends, along with Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board Chair Susan Valdes.
“I am totally stunned. The finalists I’m here with are so impressive and phenomenal teachers. I can’t believe my name is the one they called. They are all amazing teachers who do fabulous things in their classroom,” explained McKee just moments after her name was announced.
McKee has taught at Williams Middle Magnet School for 11 years. She left her first career in the business world when she had her children. During that time she received her teaching certificate and took a job in the classroom. She has never looked back and credits her students for making her the teacher she is today.
“My students have a passion for learning. They push me to do more and be better. My students feed my energy and give me the passion to be involved.” McKee has always put students first and works every day to ensure they are successful.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins calls Diane McKee, “a class act.” Eakins is proud she is a Hillsborough County Public Schools teacher and says there is something about McKee that makes you stop and listen to everything she says. “She is a genuine person and brings that to her classroom. She absolutely does the best for her students and her students love her.”
McKee will spend the next year touring the state, serving as an ambassador for education. She will represent the Florida Department of Education at numerous events and serve as an instructional coach. She is honored by this opportunity to inspire teachers and create an exciting learning environment.
“I want to encourage teachers to find their passion and create magic in their classroom so students can grow.”
McKee received a check totaling $10,000, a $1,000 check for her school, and an all-expense paid trip for four to New York City to attend this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.