ORLANDO -- A Polk County art teacher became the state’s top teacher Thursday night, selected from among five finalists that included Indian River teacher Lyndsey Matheny.
The announcement naming Christie Bassett, a K-12 art teacher at Highlands Grove Elementary, as the 2015 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year came during the annual awards gala at Hard Rock Live in Orlando. She now spends the next year as a statewide ambassador for education.
Matheny, a math and science teacher at Citrus Elementary, was recognized for her excellence in teaching, as were the other finalists and district teachers of the year.
The five finalists were chosen from among the district teachers of the year, who got $750 and $250 grants for their schools from the Macy’s Foundation.
The state teacher of the year gets a $10,000 grant from the Macy’s Foundation and an all-expense-paid trip for four to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.