- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Polk County math teacher has been chosen as Florida’s 2017 teacher of the year.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that Highlands Grove Elementary School teacher Jessica Solano was selected from among five finalists. Solano will receive a $20,000 award funded by the state Department of Education and the Macy’s department store company, which sponsored the awards gala in Orlando.

Solano will also get all-expense paid trip for four to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, a $1,000 wardrobe and $1,000 for her school.

After the school year ends, Solano gets a one-year classroom leave to tour the state as an education ambassador and talk about educational opportunities and challenges in Florida.

The other four finalists received $15,000 awards.

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