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Tiffany Oliver goes above and beyond

Tiffany Oliver instructs her IB HL Biology class. Oliver has been named a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

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Tiffany Oliver instructs her IB HL Biology class. Oliver has been named a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Morgan Brazier, Staff Writer

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Earlier this year, IB biology teacher Tiffany Oliver applied for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST), and after a long selection process, she was nominated as one of four finalists in the state of Florida for the award.

After learning of Oliver’s nomination, the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott informed her that because of her nomination, she would be recognized with a special award for going above and beyond as a teacher.

“I received an email from the governor’s office saying that they heard that I was a PAEMST state finalist, and because of that Governor Scott wanted to recognize me publicly with what’s called a Governors Shine award,” Oliver said.

The governor was in Tampa on Thursday, Feb. 8 for a cabinet meeting where Oliver was recognized for her PAEMST award nomination, and she expects that the other three teachers in Florida will also be recognized by the governor.

“I never applied [for the governors shine award],” Oliver said. “It was nothing I’d ever heard of before…I had no idea it was coming.”

In addition to meeting the governor and being specially recognized, the Hillsborough County  Public Schools communications department took a video of Oliver’s class on Tuesday Feb. 6, and some of her students were interviewed to further honor her excellence as a teacher.

Oliver’s students share the governor’s pride in this amazing teacher and feel that she really deserves these awards.

“She puts her students first and she is very emotionally invested into being a teacher… I’m just so proud of her,” said Grace Brill (’19), a student in Oliver’s IB HL Biology’s class.

While all of these awards and nominations and are a great honor, Oliver has never been particularly interested in being recognized for her teaching ability.

“I’ve never done what I do in order to gain awards, everything I do is because I love teaching, I love science…my greatest reward is seeing students get excited about science,” Oliver said.

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Tiffany Oliver goes above and beyond