Robert W. Hughes
Teacher of the Year Program

We are excited to announce the 31st Annual Robert W. Hughes Teacher of the Year Program, to be held on the evening of January 26, 2023. This uplifting event has created a time-honored tradition of bringing our community together to recognize the contributions of our amazing Alachua County Public School teachers.

During the evening, we will be recognizing one outstanding teacher from each school in the district. Our goal every year is to provide each teacher honoree with a $500 award and a “goodie bag” to celebrate their achievement. We hope that you will consider supporting this fantastic event.  Your tax-deductible contribution will show our teachers that their efforts in the classroom are appreciated! Please fill out the contribution form by clicking the “Become A Sponsor” button below.


teachers recognized annually


awarded to the teacher honorees each year

About the Program

Since 1992, The Education Foundation has helped Alachua County Public Schools in recognizing and empowering its teachers through the annual Teacher of the Year program. Mr. Robert Hughes founded the Teacher of the Year program in 1992 when he was the Superintendent of Schools. This program celebrates 39 leading teachers (one from each public school) across the district. All 39 are given a $500 award for their hard work and one is named the Alachua County Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year then goes on to represent Alachua County at the Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year program.

Teachers are initially nominated by their peers. Once a teacher is chosen as their school’s Teacher of the Year, they have to submit a resume and teaching philosophy. Then, a committee of past Teacher of the Year recipients decides the finalists for elementary, middle, and high school and the new Teacher of the Year.

As an organization that supports teachers with classroom grants for innovative ideas, The Education Foundation also seeks to recognize and empower teachers for their hard work and dedication to our students. Teachers invest in the lives of students across Alachua County on a daily basis. They are the backbone of our public school system. We trust them with our children and believe in their abilities to guide our students into a stronger tomorrow.

2022 Alachua County Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • My approach to teaching is more than developing the child, academically; rather, it entails teaching the “whole” child. That is, impacting his/her character. I attempt to accomplish this, first by establishing a classroom environment that communicates warmth and safety.

    Nicole Duncan, Rawlings Elementary School Nicole Duncan, Rawlings Elementary School
  • Emphasizing respect and kindness in my class, coupled with rigorous expectations, my goal is for students to experience profound musical joy in their own way. I hope to share the start of that journey with my students.

    Todd Eckstein, Lincoln Middle School Todd Eckstein, Lincoln Middle School
  • Using differentiation, I focus on the educational needs of each student. I employ multiple strategies and approaches in my lessons to ensure accessibility for all learning styles. I help my students make connections through the use of current events and culture, because seeing themselves in the learning process motivates them to be authentically engaged and invested in learning.

    Kendra Vincent, Buchholz High School Kendra Vincent, Buchholz High School

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Event Sponsors