A Miami-Dade elementary school teacher got a big surprise Friday when it was announced he was chosen as a top five finalist for the 2013 Florida Teacher of the Year award.
Alexandre Lopes, of Carol City Elementary School, was greeted by students, teachers, and the Department of Education as Macy’s awarded him with a $5,000 check. The school, which is located at 4375 NW 173rd St., was awarded with $1,000.
“It feels like a dream,” Lopes said. “Look at all these faces. What a big celebration. It’s just a happy moment for me, for my school, my district, my union, for everybody. It’s a privilege and an amazing honor.”
Lopes said that he couldn’t have succeeded without the help of others. In March he was named the Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year.
“I take all the help that I can get and all the help that is offered to me,” he said. “Nobody can do this alone. I’ve had amazing people coaching me, supporting me along the way. This is a great school, a great district, a great union.”
Lopes, who has been with the school for eight years, is a pre-K teacher for special needs students.
“I don’t think I could do anything else,” he said.
The winner of the state’s Teacher of the Year Award will be announced during a ceremony on July 12th. The final five finalists were chosen from 180,000 public school teachers.
“It’s so much, it’s hard to put into words,” he said. “It’s a dream and you make so many choices in your life, and this just makes me realize that some of the choices that I’ve made were the right ones.”