School champions recognized at 10th annual ABC Awards event

Teachers, administrators, and volunteers were recognized for their excellence on live-streamed ABC Awards hosted by Brevard Schools Foundation and Brevard Public Schools. 

Video testimonials highlighting the finalists were posted on YouTube three days preceding the Jan. 28 event. 

Teacher of the Year is Karrie Hieber, a 12th Grade English teacher at Cocoa High School. She was awarded a Honda car from Space Coast Honda, $1,000.00 from Community Credit Union, and a Teacher of the Year ring from Jostens.

“For me, teaching has just been a calling,” Hieber said in a video testimonial. “Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve wanted to go into teaching.”

“Her commitment to excellence is like no other and we are blessed to have her here as a teacher at Cocoa High School,”  Cocoa High principal Rachad Wilson said in a video preview.

Air Force veteran Samuel Taswell, technology associate at Golfview Elementary Magnet School, was honored as Employee of the Year. 

“When I retired from the Air Force, I felt I needed to do something for my community. I’ve been here [at Golfview] for 21 years supporting the teachers and I love my job,” Taswell said.

“Mr. Taswell is the glue that holds our school together,” said Magali Rassel, principal at Golfview Elementary in a video recording.  

Volunteers of the year are Harrison Gallagher at Eau Gallie High - youth; Melissa Edwards at Lockmar Elementary - adult; and Bernard Bryant, University Park Elementary - senior.

Chris Reed of Endeavor Elementary received the Principal Achievement Award for “creating outstanding leadership and a sense of urgency in meeting the needs of all students. Endeavor earned the highest school grade in 10 years,” said Matt Susin, Brevard School Board vice-chairman.

Terry Kalaga, recently retired from Rockledge High, received the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award. 

“Ms. Kalaga is one of the few administrators in our district who has dedicated their entire career to the same school and community,” Susin said.

The Rookie Teachers of the year are Devane Clark of Cambridge Elementary; Alexandria Wicker of Jackson Middle School; Megan Fernandez of Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High. The Emerging Teachers of the Year are Sarah White of Jackson Middle School, Kelsey Decker of Palm Bay Magnet High, and Katie Clarke of Riviera Elementary.

To see a replay of the award ceremony, go to “The 10th Annual ABC Awards” on YouTube.