Press Release (January 22, 2024)
Largo, Fla. – Mr. Gerard Madrinan was named the 2024 Teacher of the Year for Pinellas County Schools Monday night at the annual Evening of Excellence hosted at the Mahaffey Theater by the Pinellas Education Foundation. One of 10 finalists, Madrinan was among 130 teachers chosen as Teacher of the Year at their respective schools.
Madrinan is a proud graduate of Pinellas County Schools and is a dedicated Band Director and Music Teacher at Seminole High School. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of South Florida. He first fell in love with Seminole High School’s Marching Band in 4th grade when his older brother was in the band. For the last 33 years, he has been connected to the marching band – from watching as a little kid to now serving as the band director. His marching band was selected to perform in nest year’s Rose Parade in California.
Madrinan says the most profound part of Seminole High School’s performing arts community is the incredible students he has been able to work with and the phenomenal parents, teachers, and administrators who have become lifelong friends.
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to change students’ lives for the better,” says Madrinan. “It’s an exhilarating mission that has never felt like a job. It’s a privilege to work with students every day. My hope is to inspire them to work hard at what they do, believe in themselves, and love the process of getting up each and every morning.”
Madrinan’s classroom motto is: You don’t have to do this; you get to do this.
“Seminole High School band director Gerard Madrinan embodies how academic excellence through the performing arts positively changes the lives of the students in his classroom. The student experiences he creates through music, community engagement, and commitment to a team have a life-long impact,” said Kevin Hendrick, Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools. “As a Seminole High School alum, Mr. Madrinan’s dedication to his students extends to his coworkers, families and the community at large. All of the ten finalists exemplify excellence in teaching and selecting one representative is always incredibly difficult. We celebrate Gerard Madrinan and all of our teachers as they are the heart of our district and work daily to achieve 100% student success.”
The other Teacher of the Year finalists were Deanna Barthel, Clearwater Fundamental Middle; Lisa Bitting, Palm Harbor University High; Sadra Bostick, Ponce de Leon Elementary; Kristin Campbell, Sandy Lane Elementary; Karin David, East Lake Middle; Debbie Georgia-Stein, Gibbs High; Kristin Jennings, Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary; Naomi Middlebrooks, Maximo Elementary; and Cole Pierce, Tyrone Middle. Finalists were named by a panel of judges based on multiple criteria, with the winner selected in a second round of scoring.
The Evening of Excellence is made possible by presenting sponsor Aetna and several additional community and corporate partners. Pinellas Education Foundation has hosted the event for more than 20 years.
“It is a privilege and an honor to recognize our exceptional Teacher of the Year nominees and top 10 finalists during our annual Evening of Excellence, while also celebrating every educator in Pinellas County,” said Kim Jowell, CEO of Pinellas Education Foundation. “The impact of an outstanding teacher is immeasurable. It extends beyond the classroom as they shape the future by nurturing the minds and hearts of students, molding them into responsible citizens and critical thinkers.”
About Pinellas Education Foundation
Established in 1986, Pinellas Education Foundation is a nationally recognized, dynamic non-profit organization committed to transforming students’ lives, empowering them to achieve their full potential, and providing teachers with the resources they need to excel in the classroom. Through innovative initiatives, a strategic partnership with Pinellas County Schools, and collaboration with community partners, we work tirelessly to accelerate educational achievement for all students. With a comprehensive approach to education, our programs cover the bookends of learning, beginning with an emphasis on early literacy all the way through the intricate pathways of college and career readiness. Improving outcomes, especially for students with the greatest achievement gaps, is pivotal to our work. Our commitment to quality education spans the entire spectrum, and we are constantly evolving to address the ever-changing needs of students and teachers. To learn more, visit pinellaseducation.org.
Chief Communications Officer
Pinellas Education Foundation
Office: 727-588-4816, Ext. 2128