Orange County school leaders chose a teacher and coach with seven years of experience as the district's teacher of the year.
Kristen Iannuzzi, a teacher at West Orange High School, earned the top honor Wednesday night at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
Besides the trophy, Iannuzzi will get $5,500, tickets to Legoland and Wild Florida, a two-night stay at the Rosen Centre Hotel, a three-day cruise and a new Buick Encore with a one-year lease.
Iannuzzi's colleagues say she is an innovative teacher who is exceptional at motivating her students. She also serves as the only female head wrestling coach in Florida, leading West Orange High to a district championship.
“As an educator, I have the opportunity to change lives," Iannuzzi said. "This opportunity easily evolves into the challenge to be the best educator I can be for the betterment of the well-being of my students."
"Ms. Iannuzzi is well organized, responsible, and has without a doubt, showcased her leadership abilities and learning in a positive educational environment," said West Orange principal Doug Szcinski.
Iannuzzi is now eligible to become Florida's teacher of the year. The statewide honor will be announced in July.