Tampa teacher receives Hillsborough County award for commitment to students

Tampa teacher receives Hillsborough County award for commitment to students (Image 1)

With her students by her side, Tampa teacher Kristina Chowning received the 2015 Hillsborough County District We Deliver Award winner.

“I’m blown away. I truly had no idea that this was coming at all. I am so surprised and excited and honored really to be honest with you,” said Chowning, the student success coach at Robinson High School.

The annual award is presented to a teacher who “delivers miracles every day,” the district said in a press release. Chowning was presented with a check for $10,000 for her extra efforts to help students, colleagues and the community.

“I have been Miss Chowning’s student ever since like seventh grade and I’m going to cry. She’s been an amazing teacher and she’s helped me through,” Bobbi McDowell said while wiping tears away from her face.

“She’s like a second mom. She’s always been in my corner. She’s always been here for me, no matter what, and it means a lot. And she only wants the best for any and all of her students,” Bobbi said.

Chowning beat out more than 300 teachers to win the award. She plans on using some of the money to take her three sons on vacation before her oldest goes off to college.

“I’m a single mom with three kids and I’m a public school teacher so my budget is pretty tight. One thing I’m going to say is that I’m definitely going to take my boys on a vacation. The four of us have not traveled on a vacation I don’t think ever, to be honest with you. And this is my son’s senior year and he’s going off to college so I’m definitely going to take us on a vacation. I don’t know where but it’s going to be really terrific and the rest of it is going toward giving me some breathing room in my every day,” Chowning said.

Chowning also plans on giving back to Robinson High School by chartering a spirit bus to Fort Lauderdale so students can cheer on the Knights at this Friday’s state tournament playoff baseball game against the Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks.

“We are taking a spirit bus of 50 students to cheer on the team. We found the boys (players) really respond well to that kind of attention and energy and so I’m scrambling right now and actually over the last couple of days trying to find the sponsorship to get donations so we can pay for the bus and now I have some spare change I didn’t have before and so I might try to offset the cost of that so I can treat these kids (students) to a really cool experience,” she said.

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