Miami-Dade Teacher Finalist for National Teacher of the Year Award

Alexandre Lopes teaches at Carol City Elementary School and serves as an education advocate in the state.

By Maria Camila Bernal
|  Monday, Apr 22, 2013  |  Updated 12:44 PM EDT
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A Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher is among the finalist for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

Alexandre Lopes is a pre-kindergarten special education teacher. He teaches at Carol City Elementary School and serves as an education advocate in the state. He has been a teacher there for more than eight years.

“It feels like a dream,” Lopes told NBC 6 when he got nominated. “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 was named 2013 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year and Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education in July 2012. He was awarded with a $5,000 check, and the school, which is located at 4375 NW 173rd St., was awarded with $1,000.

“Alex’s honor comes on the heels of our 2012 Broad Prize honor and improved graduation rates for our high school seniors, and it is a testament to our educational excellence,” Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools said in a statement.

The winner of the nationwide award will be announced at a White House ceremony during National Recognition Week April 21 to 26, in Washington, D.C.

“It’s so much, it’s hard to put into words,” Lopes 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.”

The award is given based on how the teacher can inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues; play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule.

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