Governor Rick Scott, First Ann Lady Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll Celebrate Black History Month; Award Student and Teacher Contest Winners

Governor Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll hosted a reception this evening honoring the contributions of African-American community leaders, educators and students to celebrate Black History Month. Governor Scott announced the student and teacher winners of the 2013 Black History Month contests and recognized featured artist, Solomon Dixon of Jacksonville. Students competed with essay and art submissions focused on the theme “Diversity in the United States.”

Governor Rick Scott said, “All across the country, Americans are celebrating the impact the African American community has had on our country. In Florida, we are happy to host this contest every year that gives our students a chance to learn about the significant contributions of our country’s African American leaders. I want to recognize every student and educator who participated in the contest and took advantage of the chance to learn more about Florida’s Black History. We look forward to working with the Legislature to continue to make education a priority by making a historic investment in Florida’s K-12 education system this year and giving every fulltime classroom teacher in the state a $2,500 pay raise.”

First Lady Ann Scott said, “Tonight’s reception at the Florida Governor’s Mansion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all of the achievements of the African American community. Helping students learn more about the rich diversity in Florida is the goal of our Black History Month celebration and contest. I am excited to host all of our contest winners and congratulate them on a job well done.”

Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll said, “This year’s Black History Month essay and art contest winners’ masterpieces truly reflect the diversity in Florida. Each of them, their submissions as well as the schools they represent, has a story to tell about the richness in cultural history of Florida and America. All of our winners are now part of preserving and recognizing the many and significant contributions African Americans have made to Florida and the nation. I salute and congratulate all of our 2013 winners.”

This year’s featured artist is Soloman Dixon. He is currently a member of Jacksonville Consortium of African American Artists and the Art Center in Jacksonville. He has experimented with a variety of media, styles and techniques to complete his art pieces. Dixon’s artwork is inspired by his own childhood and African American heritage. His work has been displayed in galleries in Georgia, South Carolina, and various locations throughout Jacksonville.

Governor Scott, First Lady Scott and Lt. Governor Carroll honored three outstanding African-American educators with the Excellence in Education Award. These individuals were nominated by students and peers, and each will receive a $1,500 award.

Excellence in Education award winners are:

  • Angela L. Jones, Myra Terwilliger Elementary School, Behavior Resource teacher, Grades K-5th
  • Valencia Robinson, New Smyrna Beach Middle School, Reading/Language Arts teacher, Grades 6th-8th
  • Toussiant Roberson, Flagler Palm Coast High School, ESE/History teacher, Grades 9th-12th

Three student essay-contest winners, who all focused on the theme “Diversity in the United States”, will also be honored. Winners will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Student essay contest winners are:

  • Ashiera Preston – Riversink Elementary in Crawfordville, Wakulla County, 5th Grade
  • Khary Khalfani – Oak View Middle School in Newberry, Alachua County,
    6th Grade
  • Devon Robinson – New Smyrna Beach High School, Volusia County, 9th Grade

Two art-contest winners will also be recognized. Each winner will receive a $250 cash award.

Student art contest winners are:

  • Trey Driscoll – Atlantic West Elementary, Broward County, 1st Grade
  • Alexander Price – Eagle Ridge Elementary, Broward County, 2nd Grade

The Black History Month reception is supported by the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation, AT&T, Prudential, Florida Blue, Publix and the Florida Lottery. Other partners include Florida’s Foundation, the Florida Department of State, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation.


Information about the contests and Florida’s Black History Month is available on Florida’s Black History Month website,


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