Jan 30, 2023 - News

Meet the finalists for Miami-Dade's Teacher of the Year

The four finalists for Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year.

From left to right: Monique Bryant-Clayton, Don Clerveaux, Khristal Gooding and Vanessa Radice. Photos: Courtesy of Miami-Dade Public Schools

The best public school teachers in Miami-Dade County are competing for the title of 2024 Teacher of the Year.

  • The district will announce the winner Tuesday at 6:30pm, along with the Rookie Teacher of the Year award.

How it works: Every school in the district nominates a teacher for the award.

  • Then, regional directors and superintendents narrow the nominees down to the four finalists, who represent the North, Central and South regions, along with Adult/Technical Colleges and Educational Opportunity & Access.

Meet the finalists

Monique Bryant-Clayton, COPE Center North

When Bryant-Clayton was a child, her mother attended COPE Center North, a school where pregnant teenagers and young mothers can earn their diploma while their children attend an on-site daycare, the Miami Herald reports.

  • After stops at other schools during her 27-year career, she returned to COPE in 2016, where she teaches two languages, leadership skills, film production and photography among other subjects.

Don Clerveaux, Phyllis Ruth Miller Elementary School

Clerveaux, a science and social studies teacher, loves to bring his lessons to life by taking his students to the Everglades. He encourages them to be the generation that "saves our planet."

  • Clerveaux also coaches football, track and field, and strength and conditioning at Hialeah Gardens High School, the Herald reports. He's been in the district for nine years after teaching physical education and coaching at private schools across Miami for a decade.

Khristal Gooding, Robert Morgan Educational Center

Gooding loves to make connections between her history lessons and current events, like using Ticketmaster’s botched release of Taylor Swift tickets to teach her students about the Federal Trade Commission, the Herald reports.

  • Gooding, who has a journalism degree from FAMU, recently launched a journalism club at her school and authored a book to help middle-school girls transition to high school and talk about their emotions.

Vanessa Radice, Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High

Radice, an 18-year veteran of the school district, teaches algebra, physical education and liberal arts to students who are on the autism spectrum or living with other developmental disabilities, the Herald reports.

  • She's helped create an inspirational rock garden, a sensory room, an indoor hydroponic garden and a mini apartment to teach life skills at the school.
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