Christie Bassett, Polk County Teacher of the Year


Christie Bassett

Elementary Art Teacher
Highlands Grove Elementary

Christie Bassett is an elementary art teacher at Highlands Grove Elementary, with seven years of experience. Each day she works tirelessly to provide her students with a multifaceted art education infused with activities that teach other aspects of the core curriculum such as reading comprehension, math, geography and history. The Polk County native shares, “I so enjoyed my education from this district and wanted to give back to the community that had given me so much.” She believes that teachers have been given the mighty tasks of caretaker, educator, disciplinarian, mediator and mentor. Ms. Bassett explains, “I believe teachers are a child’s first glimpse into the world outside of their family… If we do not carefully execute each part of our job, we might taint a child’s view, not just of learning, but of life as a whole.” Her artistic talent and love of children makes her career in teaching an ideal choice. She strives to recognize an “artist” in each child, capable of designing a better world by reaching their full potential.”

2014 Polk County School-Related Employee Of The Year

Carlos Miguez, Polk County School-Related Employee of the Year

Carlos Miguez

ESOL Paraeducator
George Jenkins High

Carlos Miguez, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) paraprofessional at George Jenkins High, goes beyond the “call of duty” to make sure students are served each and every day. To him, speaking a language other than English is not a barrier to obtaining the best education offered. His dedication to improving student learning is enhanced by his firm, fair and friendly manner in which he works with his students. His perpetual smile and friendly attitude are contagious. This enthusiasm extends beyond the classroom. You will often find him acting as translator as he assists other teachers to better communicate with parents and families. On occasion he’s made phone calls to the homes of students on behalf of the teachers and made house calls to address issues. Mr. Miguez is unmatched in his efforts to transcend boundaries and transform lives.

Past Polk County Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year Winners »

List of 2014 Finalists

Christie Bassett was chosen Teacher of the Year among the following teacher finalists:

  • Lori May, Alturas Elementary
  • Jennifer Perez, Gause Academy
  • Catherine Cabeza, Laurel Elementary
  • Alice Moore, Ridge Career Center
  • Ryan Bintz, Socrum Elementary
  • Karen Coates, Wendell Watson Elementary

Carlos Miguez was named School-Related Employee of the Year among the following school-related finalists:

  • Tyann Bowen, Bethune Academy
  • Ricky White, Crystal Lake Middle
  • Brandy Reynolds, Eagle Lake Elementary
  • Rene Lugo Perez, Griffin Elementary
  • Regina Dixon, Jewett Middle Academy
  • Melissa Skinner, Lake Gibson Middle

List of 2014 Honorees

2014 Polk County Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year Honorees »

2014 Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year Sponsors

Premiere Sponsors:

  • Amscot
  • Ledger Media Group
  • MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
  • Polk Education Foundation
  • Regal Automotive

Gold Sponsors:

  • Boswell & Dunlap
  • Bright House Networks
  • Florida Blue
  • Mosaic
  • Publix Super Markets Charities
  • TECO Energy

Silver Sponsor:

  • University of Phoenix

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Bank of America
  • BB&T
  • Ben Hill Griffin, Inc.
  • Citizen's Bank & Trust
  • Duke Energy
  • Geico
  • Huntington Learning Center
  • Lakeland Electric
  • Polk Education Association
  • Polk State College
  • Republic Services
  • SunTrust Foundation
  • Warner University