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Teacher of the year finalists named

By ROBBYN MITCHELL, Times Staff Writer
Published December 21, 2007


NEW TAMPA - Two New Tampa teachers were named finalists in the Hillsborough Education Foundation's Teacher of the Year competition.

Mary Booth of Chiles Elementary School and Deborah Dowell of Bartels Middle School were surprised during school last Friday by the "prize patrol" that came bearing flowers and news of the award.

"We were getting ready to start our holiday program and they came in with cameras and balloons," said Booth, 37, a second-grade teacher. "I'm still trying to soak it all in."

Dowell, 50, a sixth-grade language arts, geography and eighth-grade reading teacher, received the news in her school's media center with her students present.

"We lured her up to the media center with a phone call," said principal Maribeth Franklin. "We knew that if she'd gotten wind of the surprise, she would think it was because of her birthday on Sunday."

Both finalists were nominated by their colleagues and then filled out applications for the countywide competition.

Among other finalists are: Sylvia Albritton, Youth Services; Stephanie Bikowsi, Burney Elementary; Courtney Clark, Gorrie Elementary; Isidoros Passalaris, Williams Middle Magnet; Marcy Ringdahl, Summerfield Elementary; Terry Senhauser, Nelson Elementary; and Kristy Verdi, Randall Middle. The winner will be named in February.

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at 813 269-5313 or

Stay in the know in New Tampa, all day, every day, at tampa, your web address for Bruce B. Blog.

[Last modified December 20, 2007, 22:12:36]

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