Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces Congressional Teacher Awards

Apr 2, 2018
Press Release

BRADENTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that eight teachers in the 16th Congressional District were chosen for the Congressional Teacher Awards.

The Congressman honored the recipients during a recent ceremony at the Manatee County Board of County Commission Chambers in Bradenton.

The Congressional Teacher Awards, established by Buchanan in 2014, are given out annually to special Suncoast teachers for their outstanding achievements on behalf of students.

This year’s award recipients include:

  • Ms. Michelle Brewster for her accomplishments as a sixth-grade Math teacher at Eisenhower Middle School.
  • Ms. Karen Lewellen, for her accomplishments as a Math teacher at State College of Florida Collegiate School.
  • Ms. Carrie Ling, for her accomplishments as a Math and Science teacher at Braden River Elementary School.
  • Mr. Nelson Lopez for his accomplishments as an ELA and Journalism teacher at Palmetto High School.
  • Ms. Barb Rannigan, for her accomplishments as a third-grade teacher at Alta Vista Elementary School.
  • Ms. Es Swihart for her accomplishments as an English teacher at Riverview High School.
  • Dr. Terri St. John for her accomplishments as an English teacher at Sarasota High School.
  • Ms. Deborah Walker, for her accomplishments as a sixth-grade Science teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep.

“I was once told that children are 25 percent of the population, but they are 100 percent of the future,” Buchanan said. “And it’s true. The education of a child and young adult is an investment, not only in that student, but in the future of our country. That is why I established the Congressional Teacher Awards to honor educators for their ability to teach and inspire students.”

An independent panel of three judges from Florida’s 16th District chose the recipients of the Congressional Teacher Awards.

“On behalf of all of my constituents in the 16th Congressional District, I congratulate each of these outstanding teachers and offer my sincere appreciation for their service and dedication,” concluded Buchanan.

Each of the school districts in Florida’s 16th Congressional District nominated teachers to receive the Congressional Teacher Award. All of the nominated teachers were recognized by Buchanan at the event and were honored by the Congressman in the Congressional Record for their achievements.