Richard Ellenburg, a K-5 Science teacher in Orange County, is the Florida Department of Education/Macy’s 2008 teacher of the year. Mr. Ellenburg has been a teacher for the last 28 year and has a strong passion for science and teaching. Ellenburg will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, touring the state to spread the word about educational opportunities and challenges in Florida. He will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy’s, a customized trophy and an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Macy’s will also award to each of the other four finalists — Deborah Fahmie, Cypress Elementary School, Osceola County; Robert Johnson, Port Charlotte High School, Charlotte County; Dr. Sandy Melillo, Northeast High School, Broward County; Diane Tomko, Flagler Palm Coast High School, Flagler County — a $5,000 check and a $500 Macy’s gift card. Macy’s also presented $1,000 to each of the finalists’ respective schools to be used toward educational programs.

Source: Florida Department of Education