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Press Release Detail

DJJ Awards Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year




April 21, 2016             



CONTACT: Heather DiGiacomo


(850) 717-2710



DJJ Awards Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year


Orlando, Fla. - The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) honored Linda Baker with the 2014-2015 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award during a ceremony at the 2016 Adolescent Conference.  

Ms. Baker is a teacher with the Washington County School Program at the Okeechobee Youth Development Center (OYDC) where for the past three years she has taught an innovative reading class that incorporates technology into her curriculum, fostering a love for reading in her students.   

“Ms. Baker embraces the world of technology and its application in her classroom creates a fun and exciting environment for her students,” said DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly who presented Ms. Baker with the Teacher of the Year Award. “This inventive approach allows her to engage with her students in a creative and new way, while ensuring that her students are learning and achieving academic success.”

Ms. Baker has introduced e-readers for poetry analysis and for decoding reading strategies. She incorporates tablets and laptops for her daily rotation of reading groups and allows her students to use computers to complete their homework assignments and book reports. 

Baker said, “I am keenly aware that today’s millennial students use technology as a staple in their everyday lives. The absence of fusing technology with education will limit a student’s success in the high-tech world. By turning technology into an integral part of my classroom instruction, I have taken an application of leisure and transformed it into a mode of academic enrichment.” 

DJJ partnered with the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation to select the finalists for the Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award.  Ms. Baker was chosen as one of three finalists out of many juvenile justice educators throughout the state of Florida.  Each finalist received a medal and monetary award. 

The award was presented at the 21st annual Adolescent Conference Building Bridges: Uniting for Youth, Families and Communities hosted by the Florida Juvenile Justice Association (FJJA).