Tampa Bay Times (January 22, 2024) For the third time in a decade, a music teacher has been named Pinellas County Teacher of the Year.
Gerard Madrinan, the band director at Seminole High School, smiled modestly, bowed and clapped to the audience and his fellow finalists after Superintendent Kevin Hendrick announced he had won the annual recognition.
“I am humbly honored,” Madrinan said as he pulled prepared remarks from his jacket pocket.
He asked for applause for the others on the stage, and then thanked his family, friends, colleagues, supporters and mentors who have helped him along the way.
“Thank you to my students,” Madrinan said. “You are not just my why. You are the why and the reason for the entire community.”
Madrinan’s nephew, sophomore Dylan Madrinan, also is one of his students. He introduced “Uncle Gerry” as a leader, organizer and motivator during the Pinellas Education Foundation’s Evening of Excellence celebration at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
“Uncle Gerry is great because he makes us feel confident in being ourselves. That we are absolutely good enough and smart enough to get after our dreams. That we can stare out into the horizon, set a goal, and through baby steps, achieve it,” Dylan said. “I’m proud to be a band dork for life thanks to Uncle Gerry … I mean Mr. Madrinan.”