Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott announced the 2014 Black History Month student and teacher contests winners during the Black History Month reception at the Governor’s mansion tonight. The reception celebrates the contributions African-American community leaders, educators and students make to Florida’s communities, culture, and history.


Governor Scott said, “Black History Month is a great opportunity to recognize the many ways African-Americans have enriched Florida’s communities, culture and history. I wanted to thank everyone across the state for the various events and activities that took place in honor of Black History Month. Their support helped make this month-long celebration a success. I also wanted to thank the students and teacher who participated in the contests and congratulate the winners who showcased their talent.”


It was also an honor to have Rose Marian Jefferson be part of this celebration as the 2014 Black History Month featured artist. Rose Marian Jefferson was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. She married and moved to San Francisco and later relocated to Melbourne, Florida where she currently resides. Ms. Jefferson’s artwork has been displayed primarily in Florida and Georgia.

First Lady Ann Scott said, “At the beginning of the year, Governor Scott and I were happy to invite K-12 students to participate in the 2014 Black History Month art and essay contests. This celebration is particularly special to me because education has always been a passion of mine. Since Governor Scott took office, I have visited more than 100 elementary, middle and high schools from the Panhandle all the way to the Keys, and have met many talented students and teachers. I congratulate everyone who participated and shared their creativity during this month long celebration.”

Governor Scott and First Lady Ann Scott honored three outstanding educators with the Excellence in Education Award. These individuals were nominated by students and peers, and each will receive $1,500.

Excellence in Education award winners are:

· Michelle Wright – Miami Lakes K-8 Center, Miami Lakes, FL (Miami-Dade County)

· LaTonja McNeil – State College of Florida Collegiate School, Bradenton, Florida (Manatee County)

· Major Trent Johnson – Andrew Jackson High School, Jacksonville, FL (Duval County)

The following student essay-contest winners – one elementary, one middle, and one high school student – will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Student essay contest winners are:

· Brooklyn Sheppard, Port Saint Joe Elementary School, Port Saint Joe, Florida

· Lyndsey Thomas, Franklin Academy, Pembroke Pines, Florida

· Javan Latson, Belleview High School, Ocala, Florida

The following Student Art Contest recipients will each receive $250.

Student art contest winners are:

· Katie Huynh – Lake Park Elementary in Naples, FL (K-1)

· Kayla Gonzalez – Coral Reef Elementary in Miami, FL (2nd-3rd Grade)

The Black History Month reception and awards are supported by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, the Volunteer Florida Foundation, Prudential, Comcast, AT&T, Walmart, Florida Blue, Publix, the Florida Lottery, and the FAMU Foundation.


For Immediate Release – February 25, 2014
Contact: or (850) 717-9282