Superintendent Marcus Chambers presenting the Teacher of the Year award in 2021. (OCSD)

Local businesses pay for ‘teacher banquet’ so educators can attend for free

Superintendent Marcus Chambers presenting the Teacher of the Year award in 2021. (OCSD)

On Tuesday night, the Okaloosa County School District’s “Teacher of the Year Banquet” will take place at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. 

  • Thanks to several business leaders in Okaloosa County, this event will be free.

Originally, ticket prices were going to be $47 per person. This would allow the Okaloosa School District to provide the venue, set up, the meals and everything involved with the night’s festivities.

Step One Automotive Group got wind of the ticket prices and sought out to get a few local businesses to collectively cover the cost of the entire banquet so that teachers, and their spouses, could attend for free!

Here is who pitched in:

“At Bank of England Mortgage, we support our teachers with great pride and jumped at the chance to help sponsor the event along with the other great sponsors,” said Matt Turpin, Branch Project Manager. “Our teachers give so much to our county and to the students. This sponsorship is just a token of our gratitude to the teachers and their devotion to the students.”

“We were happy to help cover the costs of the event so that the teachers could attend for free,” said Maureen Bierman, Marketing Director for Step One. “They do so much for us every year, they should be able to come and enjoy themselves on a night like this.”

In response to local businesses covering the cost of the entire banquet, Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers said:

“One of the things I’m so proud of is how this community supports our school district. They went above and beyond to help us do this because they understand the importance of our teachers and educators, and the difference that the school district makes in the lives of our students and this community. I could not be more grateful to this group.”

At tonight’s banquet, one of these three finalists will be named “Teacher of the Year.”

  • Amy Saxer – Bruner Middle School
  • Brittany Tate – Pryor Middle School
  • Elizabeth Drake – Walker Elementary School

The banquet kicks off at 6:45pm

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