Corbett Prep Teacher Honored in Tallahassee
with State Excellence in Education Award
March 1, 2017 (TAMPA, Fla.) – When Corbett Prep fourth graders were asked to write about influential African Americans during Black History Month, student Maya Griess knew exactly who deserved recognition – her own teacher, Kim Rostick.
Maya’s essay was submitted for Gov. Rick Scott’s Black History Month contest, winning Rostick the Excellence in Education Award for elementary teachers. Just three educators across the state (one for elementary, middle and high school) received the honor.
“Mrs. Rostick sees the gifts within each student and has challenged me to set my goals high while supporting me along my journey, leaving me with a great feeling of accomplishment,” Maya wrote.
Rostick traveled to Tallahassee on Feb. 15 for a reception at the Governor’s Mansion and asked if she could invite Maya. Maya and her mother, Corbett Prep PreK4 teacher Dr. Julie Omodio-Griess, accompanied Rostick along with Rostick’s husband, Robert.
“It was the delight of my heart to see Maya’s face light up in meeting dignitaries and receiving her own accolades throughout the evening,” Rostick said. “Who knows how she may be inspired further from this experience.”
Corbett Prep’s fourth graders are expected to go “above and beyond” their assignments during the school year, whether they volunteer to participate in the school spelling bee, complete a science fair project, enter academic competitions or more. Fourth grade teachers invited students to write essays for Black History Month for the state competition. Traditionally, students choose historical figures as their topic, and Rostick was humbled to learn that Maya wanted to focus on her.
Students had to share how nominees for the Excellence in Education Award affected their lives and bettered the school and community.
Rostick serves as president of the Hillsborough High School International Baccalaureate Alliance, manages the musical theatre program for the Community School of the Arts and volunteers for Meals on Wheels and her church choir. She holds a master’s degree in reading and math and has received National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Social Studies/History. She also has been a Fulbright Memorial Fund Recipient and Allen Distinguished Educator Grantee.
Maya praised Rostick’s high standards, dedication to students and the way she models excellence.
“I am more motivated to take risks in school because I know she will be close by to help if I fall short of my goal but also be there to celebrate my successes along the way,” Maya wrote.
At the reception, Gov. Scott thanked the educators for their commitment to Florida’s students. Rostick said she was overcome with appreciation for the nomination.
“I know in the depths of my soul that this award and recognition is representative of the great teaching that happens every day at Corbett Prep,” Rostick said. “Maya thinks I make her a better student. I am a better teacher because of students like Maya and the community that is Corbett Prep.”