Teacher Center

Excellence in Teaching Award 2003

Ms. Janet Gray

Winner of the 2003 Florida Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award, is a fifth grade teacher at Orange City Elementary School in Florida who includes an agricultural application in all her lessons.

Gray became interested in teaching when she served as a volunteer in her son's kindergarten class. A bad experience in school forced her back into the classroom as a volunteer because she didn't want the same thing to happen to her son.

She earned her high school diploma at age 35, and then went on to get her associate in arts degree at Daytona Beach Community College and a bachelor's degree in elementary education at University of Central Florida in Orlando. She has been an elementary school teacher now for 15 years.

Gray grew up on a farm so she combines her love of agriculture and her enthusiasm for teaching to come up with her special formula for success. She dons bumble bee costumes, develops special lesson plans and does whatever it takes to make her classes entertaining and educational. "Children can only be as excited as their teacher," Gray believes.

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