Education Rock Stars

Hillsborough County Public Schools Celebrates its Education Rock Stars

Have you seen the commercial where employees keep calling each other rock stars, and then actual rock stars show up and shut them down?!

Well, we challenge Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol or Joan Jett to step in one of our schools and shut US down – because our employees are as close to rock stars as you can get!

In fact, that’s the theme of this year’s Excellence in Education awards:

Let’s Band Together – Celebrating our Education Rock Stars.”


And if all our employees are rock stars, the Excellence in Education Finalists are Hall of Famers.

The Excellence in Education awards ceremony is hosted by Hillsborough Education Foundation, and that’s where our Teacher of the Year, Instructional Support Employee of the Year and Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year are chosen.

Education Rock Stars smiling teacher

Let’s meet the finalists for each category!


2024 Teacher of the Year Finalists:

  • Barbara Zimmer is a second grade teacher at Bay Crest Elementary School.
  • Milca Lebron is a 5th grade math teacher at Woodbridge Elementary School.
  • Kimberly Feroli is a reading teacher and a teacher talent developer at Gaither High School.
  • Clayton Nylund is a physics and engineering instructor at Blake High School.
  • Jaime Beulah is an Access Points teacher for kindergarten through second grade at Corr Elementary School.


2024 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Finalists:

  • Suzy Tkacik is a media specialist at Pride Elementary School.
  • Cheryl Flohr is an ESE teacher with the Hospital Homebound Program.
  • Ilfaut Joseph is a community resource teacher at Jennings Middle School.
  • Angela Roberts is a school counselor at Farnell Middle School.


2024 Instructional Support Educator of the Year Finalists:

  • Bille Jo Nelson is a community resource officer at Collins PreK-8.
  • Joshua Fuentes is the head custodian at Sumner High School.
  • Bridget Wells is an ESE paraprofessional at Robinson Elementary School.
  • Maria Ortiz is a secretary at Temple Terrace Elementary School.


Education Rock Stars, Milca Lebron

These rock stars will be celebrated in style!

The Excellence in Education awards ceremony will take place Feb. 1 at The Straz Center for the Performing Arts. It’s a really wonderful ceremony. Each finalist brings along a student escort who will take the stage and tell the audience why their educator is so special. This event truly highlights the importance of education and strong educators in our community.

The public is invited to this event. For more information and to get tickets, please visit

Let’s “band together” as a community to show these rock star finalists the love and appreciation they deserve!

Education Rock Stars Hillsborough Co public schools event flier

Originally published in January 2024 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine