A Hillsborough County music teacher was named the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year on Thursday.

Dr. Dakeyan "Dr. Dre" Graham of C. Leon King High School received the honor at the Teacher of the Year Gala from Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Concordan.

He was chosen out of more than 176,000 teachers in Florida.

“It is my privilege to recognize Dr. Dakeyan Chá Dré Graham as Florida’s 2020 Teacher of the Year," DeSantis said."Florida is nationally recognized for its top-notch education system and teachers the caliber of Dr. Graham have made that possible. As he begins his tenure as Teacher of the Year, I offer my heartiest congratulations and know he will represent Florida and the education profession well.”

“Dr. Graham personifies the ideals of the education profession and it is my honor to name him as Florida’s top teacher," Concordan said. "A world-class education lead by a high-quality teacher is the catalyst for students realizing their full potential, and I commend Dr. Graham for his innate ability to consistently inspire and motivate his students toward excellence. I look forward to working with him during the coming year.”

As the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year, Graham will also serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, working to create greater public awareness of Florida’s exceptional teachers and the education profession. He also receives from the Florida Prepaid College Board a 2-Year Florida college scholarship worth $8,000 to give to a student of his choice.

Graham is the director of bands and director of instrumental studies at King, where he graduated and has worked for a decade. According to the school's website, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education (University of Florida), a master’s in educational leadership (Concordia University), and a Ph.D. in music education (University of South Florida).

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