Teacher of the Year
2020 Teacher of the Year - David Martinez-Cooley
David Martinez-Cooley, a music teacher at Leila G. Davis Elementary, has been named Pinellas County Schools' 2020 Teacher of the Year. The award was presented Wednesday night during the Evening of Excellence at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. All 131 nominees were also recognized at the event.
Martinez-Cooley has worked with the Pinellas County Schools for more than 12 years. He earned Master’s degrees in Music Education and Mathematics Education from the University of Florida. Martinez-Cooley is a recognized leader among Pinellas music educators. He serves on the district’s textbook adoption committee to choose new digital resources for the district’s elementary music students and he helped with revising and refining the district’s grade level key learnings. He has a very successful music program at the school and that success is due to his willingness to always find new and unique ways of engaging his general music students.
David Martinez-Cooley will now represent the district in the state Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the Florida Department of Education.
Inspiring Teacher Video - David Martinez-Cooley
The Top 10 finalists were also recognized. They are:
- Tina Angles, Ponce De Leon Elementary School
- Susana Carter, Elisa Nelson Elementary School
- Cheri Connolly, Anona Elementary School
- Staci DaSilva, Seventy-Fourth St. Elementary School
- Deborah Guinn, Osceola Fundamental High School
- Tracey Keim, St. Petersburg High School
- David Martinez-Cooley, Leila Davis Elementary School
- Dianna Mills, Bay Point Middle School
- Natasha Reed, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School
- Ajori Spencer, Madeira Beach Fundamental School
Each year schools in Pinellas County are encouraged to choose a Teacher of the Year nominee to represent their school. Candidates are required to fill out an application that aligns with the state packet including a resume, letters of recommendation, and answer various questions pertaining to their student achievement and instructional practices. All nominees are honored at the Pinellas Education Foundation's Evening of Excellence during which one is named the Pinellas County District Teacher of the Year.Florida Teacher of the YearThe Pinellas County teacher of the year has the honor of being able to apply to be in the running for the Florida Department of Education Macy's Teacher of the Year.