Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Applauds Outstanding Local Teachers

Apr 8, 2019
Press Release
Congressman Announces Congressional Teacher Award Recipients

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

The Congressman honored the recipients during a ceremony Friday evening 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:

  • Marissa Dobbert for her accomplishments as a 7th Grade Math Teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep;
  • Elizabeth Harris for her accomplishments as a 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

Interventionist at Myakka City Elementary School;

  • Chris King for his accomplishments as a 6th-9th Grade Special

Education Teacher at Haile Middle School;

  • Kate Kramer for her accomplishments as an English as a Second

Language Teacher at Fruitville Elementary School;

  • Kari McMillan for her accomplishments as a Math Teacher at Palmetto

High School;

  • Ashlee Middleton for her accomplishments as an 11th and 12th Grade

English and Reading Teacher at Sarasota High School;

  • Nancy Miller for her accomplishments as a 3rd Grade Teacher at

Ballard Elementary School;

  • Kymberli Rivers for her accomplishments as a Literature and English

Teacher at Manatee High School;

  • Maria Underhill for her accomplishments as an 8th Grade Reading

Teacher at Braden River Middle School.

“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.”

This year, 34 teachers were nominated by their principals. An independent panel of judges from Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties 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,” Buchanan concluded.

All of the nominated teachers were recognized by Buchanan on Friday evening.  The nine winners were also recognized by the Congressman in the Congressional Record for their achievements and were presented with a flag flown over the capital in their honor.