Carol City teacher wins highest honor
ORLANDO, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida man has earned the Florida Teacher of the Year award.
Alexandre Lopes was named the 2013 Florida Teacher of the Year at an awards ceremony in Orlando, Thursday night. Macy's is a sponsor of the award.
Lopes teaches students with special needs at Carol City Elementary School and is beloved by both his colleagues and students. "He's really the personification of what an extraordinary educator is," one colleague said.
A fire truck came out to Carol City Elementary months ago to inform Mr. Lopes that he was one of five finalists for Teacher of the Year. "Congratulations! You are a finalist in the 2013 Florida Education Macy's Teacher of the Year!" a woman told Lopes through a megaphone.
The news moved the special education teacher to tears. When Lopes received the top prize Thursday, instead of crying, he thanked his students in song.
Music is a key part of Mr. Lopes' curriculum; he uses it to reach all his students, who have a variety of challenges.
In addition to the Teacher of the Year award, Lopes received a $10,000 check and a trip for four to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York for his hard work and dedication.
Instead of accepting all the credit for receiving the honor, Mr. Lopes told the crowd he could not have done it without his colleagues and students. He said, "To my little dreamers who made the American Dream of this Brazilian-born big dreamer a reality, I thank you so much. I have no words for the love I have for you or for my profession."
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