New Riverview Teachers Welcomed
and Teachers of the Year Honored
by Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce
The purpose of Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce’s (GRCC) annual Teaching to Excellence event is to recognize Teachers of the Year, as well as welcome all new teachers, from within our 25 Riverview schools. This year’s event was held on Wednesday, August 7th at The Regent. The teachers, principals, and esteemed guests were given a warm, lively reception at the door by the Shark Cheerleaders of Riverview High School.
As teachers entered the beautiful ballroom, decked out with royal blue linens, crystal chandeliers, and scholastic centerpieces, their first stop was the GRCC table where they received a bright red reusable tote bag. Bag in hand, they then made their way to the 30+ Teacher Supply Stops all sponsored and staffed by GRCC members. At these stops, the teachers were personally thanked for their work in our schools and provided countless school supplies, coupons and tools to make their jobs easier. By the time the teachers reached the end of the Supply Stops, their bags were overflowing! Some of the top crowd pleasers were dry erase markers and paper.
As the program began, Event Chair Nikki Foster, The Mosaic Company, welcomed the crowd of over 350 teachers, principals, and community business leaders to the event. She then invited Reverend Susan Hill, Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale, to deliver the day’s invocation. Riverview High School NJROTC Color Guard presented the colors and our National Anthem was performed with bravado by local recording artist, Joe Zuniga.
Michelle Mosher, Southshore Insurance Professionals, 2019 GRCC President, thanked everyone in the room for their dedication to making the community of Riverview great. She commended the teachers on their commitment to shaping young minds and acknowledged how challenging their job can be. She expressed how grateful we all are, that they are up to the challenge! The Chamber is honored to have these schools as members of their organization and is proud of each and every one of them.
At this time, Event Chair Nikki Foster, The Mosaic Company, returned to the stage for a special presentation. She shared the Teaching to Excellence event began as a vision of Dr. Earl Lennard’s. A fundamental figure in education for Hillsborough County, Lennard was born in Riverview and dedicated his career to making a difference in schools. Lennard and his wife Annabel, were unable to attend the morning’s festivities and therefore, Foster asked for Lennard’s daughter Missy, son Jeremy, and daughter-in-law Rebecca, to join her on stage. Foster delivered them an award of appreciation for Dr. Earl Lennard for his many contributions to education in the community. Foster then announced in addition to the award, the GRCC would be making a $500 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Riverview in honor of Dr. Earl Lennard.
The event’s emcee extraordinaire Ernest Hooper, Tampa Bay Times Assistant Sports Editor, effortlessly kept the crowd entertained. Similar to the introductions given in professional sports forums, accompanied with dramatic music pieces selected by On The Move Productions, Hooper introduced each school’s Teacher of the Year. He invited each Teacher of the Year, along with their school’s principal, to the stage to accept a plaque of appreciation and pose for a professional photograph, made by Huth and Booth Photography.
The teachers’ anticipation culminated as Jill Andrew, Tessera of Brandon, called out the winning numbers for dozens and dozens of raffle prizes that were all donated by the incredibly generous members of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. The Riverview High School Cheerleaders continued to spread cheer as they delivered gift baskets and prizes to the delighted teachers all over the room.
As the raffle seemingly came to a close, Ernest Hooper surprised the teachers by announcing two additional raffle numbers would be drawn for a “Let’s Make a Deal” game. Two high school teachers came to the stage after their numbers were called. Hooper gave them a choice between a large manila envelope or a gift-wrapped box. In the end, one teacher won a $75 gift card to Outback Steakhouse and the other a fine dining experience at Mise en Place. Hooper surprised them yet again by giving them concert tickets on behalf of Amalie Arena. One teacher will be going to see The Chainsmokers and the other, Twenty-One Pilots.
In her closing remarks, event Co-Chair Kendra Wilson, Suncoast Credit Union, thanked her committee and all of the many wonderful people and businesses that made this event possible. She let the teachers know that they were not quite done receiving gifts. As they exited, they would each be given additional reams of paper. A special gift of label making machines and storage bins was also distributed on behalf of the Supervisor of Elections office. And finally, she expressed to the teachers, “Thank you so much and we love you!”
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