Baker School's Andrea Brown was named Teacher of the Year on Thursday night during the Okaloosa County School District's annual Teacher of the Year Banquet.

OKALOOSA ISLAND — Baker School's Andrea Brown was named Teacher of the Year on Thursday night at the Emerald Coast Convention Center during the Okaloosa County School District's annual Teacher of the Year Banquet.

Brown, a Title 1 remediation math and reading teacher, has taught at Baker for 18 years. She was chosen after the district's Teacher of the Year Selection Committee judged the top three finalists based on a teacher packet, classroom observation and a personal interview. 

"We have a very difficult job," said Alyson Lofe, chairwoman of the Selection Committee. "This year we selected Ms. Brown because of the personalized instruction she prepares for students in grades K-5. Her involvement goes beyond the classroom at Baker School and in her community." 

The Teacher of the Year Banquet is a celebration to recognize each school's Teacher of the Year and the district winner. Each teacher recognized at the banquet received a framed certificate and a backpack filled with prizes from local businesses.  

"The program includes music provided by an area high school jazz band, dinner, recognition of each school's Teacher of the Year and the three finalists, and finally the announcement of the Okaloosa County's Teacher of the Year," Lofe said. "It takes a lot of work for everything to come together."

The three finalists, Brown, Dawn Johnson from Florosa Elementary and Susan Zant from Choctawhatchee High School, also received  a cash gift from the Okaloosa County Education Association.

Brown will compete for Florida's Teacher of the Year and has the opportunity to drive a new BMW for a year.

"We are very proud to have Andrea Brown represent Okaloosa County at the state level for Florida's Teacher of the Year program," Lofe added.