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Bluewater, Ruckel teachers among Teacher of the Year finalists

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The Okaloosa County School District has announced its three 2019 Teacher of the Year Finalists. Two of the three are teachers at Nicville area schools. The three Teacher of the year finalists are Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School; Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School; and Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School.

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NICEVILLE, Fla — The Okaloosa County School District has announced its three 2019 Teacher of the Year Finalists. Two of the three finalists are teachers at Niceville area schools.

The three Teacher of the year finalists are Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School; Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School; and Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the annual banquet being held at the Emerald Coast Conference Center on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Here are the finalists:

Claire Erk, teacher of the year finalist, with marcus chambers, superintendent of schools, okaloosa county

Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School, 5th grade math/science teacher.

Claire Erk, Bluewater Elementary School
Claire Erk is a 5th grade math/science teacher who loves watching her students get excited about math and science through hands-on activities. She encourages her students to use their curiosity to develop new ways to complete problems and ask more questions about the world around them. She is the Academic Team coach and Young Astronaut sponsor at Bluewater Elementary School and enjoys taking her students to Space Camp every year. She is a proud wife to Chris and mom to Stephen at FSU as well as Matthew and Laura both at Niceville High. She loves to hear them play with the Eagle Pride.

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Devon LaMonica, teacher of the year finalist, okaloosa schools, with school superintendent marcus chambers

Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School, Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science teacher.

Devon LaMonica, Fort Walton Beach High School
Devon LaMonica is a Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science teacher at Fort Walton Beach High School, her alma mater. She has been teaching science at FWBHS for 13 years. She attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a BS in Forensic Science Biochemistry;  the University of West Florida, where she earned an MEd in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. Devon is nationally recognized as a Biomedical Science Master Teacher and trains new Biomedical Science teachers all over the country. She has a daughter named Cadence and enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband Kyle.

allison marello with marcus chambers, superintendent, okaloosa schools

Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School, Language Arts’ teacher.

Allison Marello, Ruckel Middle School
Allison Marello is a Language Arts’ teacher at Ruckel Middle School in her 22nd year in this district hoping to better the world one child at a time. She takes her job seriously being her students’ “school” mom, cinching up loose pants with safety pins, issuing tissues and words of encouragement, and handing out snacks to hungry children. Sending her a student means they will be loved as they learn to read with a pencil in their hand, speak positively to their inner selves, be kinder than necessary to others, and care about their education.

Congratulations to the finalists from the publishers of Niceville.com. Thank you for your service to our children and community.

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