FSU PC alumna Adrianna Swearingen named Florida’s 2024 Teacher of the Year

Tony Simmons

Adrianna Swearingen, a media specialist from Bay County and a Florida State University Panama City alumna, was selected from nearly 185,000 public school teachers to serve as 2024 Florida Teacher of the Year. She was also named Florida’s Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education.

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. announced her honor on Thursday, July 20, during a gala celebration in Orlando. This esteemed recognition highlights the exceptional dedication and outstanding achievements of Swearingen in the field of education. 

“With Adrianna’s remarkable dedication, innovation and commitment to student success, she has set an exemplary standard for educators statewide,” Diaz said. “Adrianna embodies the qualities of an exceptional teacher and serves as an inspiration to fellow educators and students alike.”

Swearingen is a graduate of the FSU PC Elementary Education program.

According to information provided by the Florida DOE, Swearingen has focused on developing her students into the next generation of leaders while serving as an educator for the past seven years. As a media specialist, Swearingen facilitates student-run morning broadcasts and pioneers the Accelerated Reader Program, cultivating an environment of confidence in her students.

She also volunteers her time to the Northside Elementary Technology Club, Lego Club and Yearbook Committee. Transitioning from a classroom teacher to a media specialist in 2021, Swearingen was a key factor in Northside Elementary School’s overall school grade increasing by 12 percentage points.

“It is great educators like Adrianna that make Florida the Education State,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Her passion and dedication in her profession is helping shape our next generation of leaders. I also want to extend my congratulations to the other finalists for their commitment and for going above and beyond for their students.”

Swearingen will receive a $50,000 award from the state of Florida. As the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, she will spend a year advocating for students and representing Florida’s remarkable teaching community.

In addition, Swearingen will receive a tuition waiver to pursue a graduate degree from the Florida State University College of Education and a two-year Florida College scholarship from the Florida Prepaid College Savings Plan to present to a student of her choice.

“I am so overwhelmed with all of the love, encouragement, and motivation to continue to be the best teacher that I can be,” Swearingen said in a social media post.
The five Teacher of the Year finalists will each receive a $20,000 bonus. All finalists have demonstrated a deep passion for teaching and have made a significant impact in their respective classrooms and school communities, the FDOE said. Their commitment to nurturing young minds and inspiring fellow educators has set them apart as exemplary role models for both students and teachers.