PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — After a challenging year for educators, Bay District Schools hosted their Excellence in Education Awards on Saturday morning at Mosley High School.
Dozens of teachers and support staff were honored for their hard work and dedication all year, with educators nominated as Teacher and Support Employee of the Year from each school in the district.
“To just celebrate education, to celebrate our teachers, our pairs, our bus drivers, our administrators, all the people that come together to make the school system work, it’s just an honor to do that,” said BDS Communications Director, Sharon Michalik.
The event, emceed by News 13’s Amy Hoyt, honored each teacher and support employee with recognition and applause for all their effort during a difficult year of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was quite a challenge,” said West Bay Elementary School Teacher, Vicki Reding. “It took a lot more time and effort to teach this year.”
She was one of many nominated as Teacher of the Year, ranking among top five finalists.
“It’s always such a big challenge to keep the secret,” Michalik said. “We’re always so excited and hoping it doesn’t leak out.”
Reding ended up being the winner, earning the district-wide Teacher of the Year award.
“It’s a great honor,” she said. “I am just absolutely stunned.”
For Support Employee of the Year, Adrianna Hill from Bay High School was the 2020-2021 recipient.
“I really wanted to scream, jump, shout, run around,” Hill said. “I love the kids, I love my job, I love what I do. It’s amazing to be able to be seen and it shows in what I do.”
Reding said it was an honor she wasn’t expecting but makes all the challenges worth it; she hopes other teachers know they’re making a difference.
“People do see the effort that you put into your classrooms,” she said.
“Your efforts and everything that you do will not go unnoticed,” Hill said.
Both will go on to represent Bay District Schools in the statewide Excellence in Education competition.