Educator of the Year 2022

Kristina Hambrock1. Kristina Hambrock, The Greene School, West Palm Beach

Kristina Hambrock is a proud faculty member at The Greene School having spent the last 5 years in both second and fourth-grade classrooms. A graduate of the University of Maine, Hambrock double majored in Elementary Education and Child Development and Family Relations. From an early age, Kristina dreamed of becoming a teacher and feels fortunate to have turned that dream into a reality! After graduation, Kristina moved to Florida and began working for The School District of Palm Beach County. During this time, Kristina added a Gifted Endorsement to her teacher certification. After learning about The Greene School’s whole child approach, she knew this was the next step in her career as it aligns with her pedagogical viewpoints. As a teacher, Kristina is most passionate about embedding social-emotional learning within her curriculum. She believes that students’ mental health and classroom culture are essential to student achievement. Kristina takes pride in the relationships she builds with her students and the relationships they build among themselves. She cherishes every student she has been given the opportunity to educate, both past and present, and will forever be their biggest cheerleader.

Founder of The Greene School’s first DEIB student committee and active member of the faculty committee, Kristina hopes to continue to advocate for the inclusion and representation of all students and their families. She is incredibly proud to be a part of a school that values DEIB as she believes it is necessary for a thriving community. Outside of the classroom, Kristina has led workshops and volunteers at Rohi’s Readery, social justice-driven children’s bookstore.

Approaching her tenth year of teaching, Kristina will continue to ensure her curriculum is inclusive, meaningful, and engaging for all current and future students. Kristina is incredibly grateful for the path she has paved for herself in her career and the connections she has made in and out of the classroom.


Megan Jones

2. Megan Jones, J.C. Mitchell Elementary, Boca Raton

My name is Megan Jones and this year I will be entering my fifth year of teaching! I obtained my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 2018 and started my teaching career at J.C. Mitchell Elementary. I have taught 3rd Grade Gifted/High Achieving for three years and spent the most recent year teaching 3rd Grade ESOL/ESE. I have always had a passion for learning and want to instill that in my students. Over the last few years, they have taught me the true meaning of resilience and hard work. Alongside my administrators, mentors, support staff, colleagues and students, I am lucky to work where I love, doing what I love. I am truly fortunate to be a part of the J.C. Mitchell staff and admire the diversity and sense of community here.

Additionally, this upcoming school year I am excited to host an intern, lead the SECME team and strengthen our schools Equity and Excellence committee beside my colleagues. I will also continue earning my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Reading through FAU. In the future, I would love to work in higher education and work more closely with aspiring teachers and current educators.

In light of recent events in our country and world, it is my goal to continue creating an inclusive, safe and equitable environment for my students. Cultivating social and emotional awareness is one of my top priorities. In order to do so, I strongly believe in Morning Meetings and incorporating SEL into our day. I have seen how it has transformed my classroom by teaching ways to cope with feelings, problem solve, work together and set goals. Above all else, it has instilled confidence in my students and myself. Students will be set up for success and learn how to handle the challenges that surround us daily in school, the community and our world. I look forward to continuing to focus on this aspect of learning throughout my career.

Adina Kerr3. Adina Kerr, Citrus Cove Elementary School, Boynton Beach

Adina Kerr is a music educator at Citrus Cove Elementary’s STEAM Choice Program. She has a strong passion for educating students to reach their highest potential. Ms. Kerr believes that arts education is an important part of her students’ day where they can explore hands-on activities, use technology to create music, as well as, work cooperatively. She designs lessons that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art, and music. She desires to create enrichment opportunities where her students can excel musically by creating before and after-school clubs without being compensated. She has a Ukulele Club, Orff, Chorus, and Theater Club (performing Willy Wonka Jr. this school year) Ms. Kerr has devoted hours of her personal time over the last 15 years. She genuinely loves her school and it shows by her dedication. She is the director of an award-winning Chorus, securing many awards at Music USA Festivals in Orlando including the Grand Championship. During the 2020-2021 school year, her Panther Performers participated in the virtual Florida Elementary School Theatre Arts Festival, where her students won several individual awards as well as the Outstanding Ensemble Award. Ms. Kerr’s students look forward to going to music each day, hundreds of students audition for clubs, and parents look forward to each performance. Beyond the classroom, Ms. Kerr is the Voluntary Lead Mentor, Clinical Educator, School Advisory Council Chair, a leader on the Professional Development Team, Choice Program Coordinator, and her most important role is a mom to her two teenagers.

Pranati Kumar

4. Pranati Kumar, Rohi’s Readery, West Palm Beach

Pranoo is the proud immigrant daughter of Konkani Indian parents, a career changer
from medicine to education, a mother of two little revolutionaries, wife and educator
committed to liberating educational experiences. Over the past 12 years she’s taught,
led, worked with and founded a number of early childhood and elementary school
systems/ programs on the East and West Coast- from the South Bronx to Harlem and
Seattle- committed to identity- driven and empowering learning experiences. Her work
in New York includes founding one of the first 12-1-1 programs for 2nd-4th grade, ICT
Kindergarten and creating PreK curriculum on a network level. Upon moving to Seattle,
she co-founded the first elementary charter in WA state with a focus on decolonized,
social emotional, and project based learning. In 2019, she moved to South Florida and
founded divHERse education consulting, committed to retention, voice and
representation of women of Color in ed leadership both in national and international
spaces of education. Most recently, she opened Rohi’s Readery, a social justice driven
children’s bookstore and learning center committed to critical literacy that promotes
inclusivity and diversity. Providing opportunities for windows and mirrors and ultimately a
space for building community through free educational programming for children and
adults. In one year of existence, the Readery has offered over 150 free events on
campus and 20+ around the community, brought nearly 3,000 people together with
members attending at least 2 events, established 40+ partnerships in not for profit and
for profit spaces with a focus on book donations, and provided DEIA educational
consulting services at least once a month.

Accolades and certifications include: 2015 and 2016 two-time NY Teacher Excellence
Award winner, 2018 Gates Foundation US K-12 Programs Contributor and Panelist,
2020 4.0 Schools Fellowship Graduate, 2021 Palm Beach Illustrated Educator
Organization Award Finalist, 2021 We Are 1909 Accelerator Entrepreneurship Program
Graduate, 2022 YWCA Dorothy Height Racial Justice Award Finalist, 2022 ADL FL
Community Change Maker Winner, 2022 Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
Diversity Business of the Year Finalist, 2022 Path to College Education Champion of the
Year, 2022 Jupiter Magazine’s “Ones to Watch” recipient, and certification in PreK-4th
teaching, SEL and Trauma-Informed Yoga, and Culturally Responsive Literature

She attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and holds a Bachelors in Biology
and a Masters in Medical Sciences. She also attended Ross University School of
Medicine before transitioning to the field of education. She holds a Masters in
Education and Special Education (with a focus on Reading, Writing and Math) from
Touro College in NY.

Wesley Lowe

5. Wesley Lowe, The King’s Academy, West Palm Beach

Mr. Wes Lowe is a Grammy nominated music educator with a passion for developing his students into skillful musicians and outstanding leaders. Mr. Lowe joined The King’s Academy as Assistant Director of Instrumental Arts in 2016 and was shortly thereafter promoted to Director of Instrumental Arts in the fall of 2019.

Mr. Lowe is a stand-out educator with a contemporary instrumental fine arts program that is taking on Palm Beach County by storm. Under his leadership, he has doubled the size of the band program through strategic planning and innovative performance opportunities. As an alumnus of The King’s Academy, he has utilized his knowledge and insight about the school community to revitalize the marching band. This group has gained national recognition through high-profile performances at Miami Heat and Miami Marlins events as well as Walt Disney World parades. Mr. Lowe, a Palm Beach native, values the impact in giving back to the community. He regularly features his Jazz Ensemble at retirement communities, charitable events, and downtown marketplaces to share the joy of music with the community. Mr. Lowe is closely aligned with the Palm Beach Symphony, Yamaha Music Corporation, Legends Radio 100.3, and many nationally acclaimed musicians such as jazz icon, Michael Feinstein, and Hollywood’s trumpeter, Wayne Bergeron. These partnerships have provided a premier and unprecedented musical experience for his students.

Mr. Lowe has received national recognition for his outstanding work. He was selected as one of Yamaha’s 40 Under 40 Music Educators for 2022. He also earned a quarterfinalist spot for the Grammy Music Educator Award. Recently, Mr. Lowe was awarded the 2021 Palm Beach Symphony’s Instrumental Music Teacher of the Year and the 2022 Randolph A. Frank Prize for Emerging Performing Arts Educator. His students have been accepted into premier music programs across the country, including Eastman School of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Indiana University, and New York University. Mr. Lowe’s students have been recognized as top musicians in the All-National and All-State Concert Bands as well as Young Artist of the Year recipients from The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook.

Mr. Lowe’s exceptional leadership spans a broad range of students beginning in 4th grade and continuing through their senior year of high school. By designing curriculum that is modern and age-appropriate, he keeps his classes relevant and engaging for all. He inspires them to be well-rounded musicians through the introduction of different music genres including classical, jazz, pop, and rock. Mr. Lowe strives to create an innovative program that prepares his students to be successful in today’s society. He is not afraid to take chances to provide unique performing opportunities for his students. Recently, he created and inspired a student-run jazz quintet that has quickly become a highly sought-after ensemble with performances at The Breakers, Harriet Himmel Theater, and Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. His goal is to use music as a vehicle to produce dynamic young leaders who will seek to have a positive impact upon the community.

Kate Sheridan

6. Kate Sheridan, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach

My name is Kate Sheridan and I teach AP United States History at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. I have been teaching high school for 16 years. I am passionate about US History and I am grateful that I get to share my love of history with others. Prior to teaching, I grew up in Warwick New York, earned my BA at Coastal Carolina University in SC and my Master’s at SUNY New Paltz, NY. I am a wife and mother of two wonderful children, Lucy (9) and Kellen (6). I love to travel, read, and attend concerts.