AME educator in running for Teacher of the Year

AME Teacher of the Year
AME fifth-grade teacher Michele Costanzo has been nominated for Teacher of the Year honors. - Tom Vaught | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Fifth-grade teacher Michele Costanzo is crossing her fingers that she might represent more than Anna Maria Elementary School in district and state competition for the 2017-18 Manatee County Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year award.

She recently found out she has been named AME Teacher of the Year.

In addition to teachers, non-teaching employees can be nominated for Support Employee of the Year.

Nominees could be chosen by anyone – parents, fellow teachers, staff or members of the community. Principal Jackie Featherston said she did not know who nominated Costanzo.

The winner of the honor on the district level will advance to the state finals.

Originally from Connecticut, Costanzo has been teaching for 13 years. She has taught at elementary school levels during her career.

“I’ve taught first grade, fourth grade and fifth grades and I love the upper grades,” she said. “It’s easier to establish a rapport with the kids.”

She previously taught in Oneco and Myakka, and she’s delighted she came to the little school by the bay.

“There are some awesome kids here, beautiful kids,” she said. “The parents are great as well, offering help and support.”

She said she’s honored that somebody thought she deserved the award.

“You work hard and do what you have to,” she said. “Somebody thought enough of what I do to nominate me, and I am grateful.”