Florida Department of Education Names Hamilton County Educator Leigh Ann Norris Teacher of the Year Finalist
~ Norris is one of five finalists to compete for the 2020 statewide Teacher of the Year ~


JASPER, Fla., May 7, 2019 – Yesterday, Division of Public Schools Chancellor Jacob Oliva surprised Leigh Ann Norris, from Hamilton County Elementary School in Hamilton County, with the news that she is one of five Teacher of the Year finalists. The statewide Teacher of the Year will be announced at the annual Florida Teacher of the Year Gala July 18 in Orlando.


“With more than two decades of experience in public education, Leigh Ann Norris’ impact on Hamilton County’s students is undeniable,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “She has consistently been rated highly effective based on her students’ learning growth and clearly contributed to Hamilton County Elementary School’s school grade improving from a ‘D’ to a “C.” It is evident that Ms. Norris has made a tremendous impact, and I am honored to recognize her as a 2020 Teacher of the Year finalist.”


Leigh Ann Norris has been an educator with the Hamilton County School District for 21 years. She currently teaches 6th grade mathematics at Hamilton County Elementary School. During her tenure, she has served as a lead teacher and mentor for all educators in her school district. She has been recognized as a high impact teacher by the Department of Education, and she has been her school’s and district’s teacher of the year twice. In her community, Norris volunteers with the Hamilton County Area Special Olympics and the “Never Quit – Never Run” fundraiser for military projects. She is also a bible school worker at Presbyterian Church and collects and distributes food packages for those in need in her community.


This year’s five finalists were chosen from more than 176,900 public school teachers throughout the state. After each school district selects its Teacher of the Year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents and the business community reviews each district application on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service.  


The Florida Teacher of the Year Program is made possible by generous sponsors: Florida Prepaid, State Farm, Helios Education Foundation, Florida Blue, Wells Fargo, Voya Financial®, Florida Power and Light Company, Publix Super Market Charities, Universal Orlando Resort, Blue Man Group and Herff Jones.