Tribute to Teachers: Nominate your favorite South Florida teacher

The Local 10 Tribute to Teachers campaign is a viewer favorite. Since 2019, we’ve recognized outstanding educators in South Florida.

They’ve included football coaches, champions for special needs students, a multiple-award winning mathematics teacher, a chorus director and a high school robotics teacher whose long commute to work is proof of his dedication.

“I actually live over an hour away, and I’ve missed two days in the past decade of work -- that’s how committed I am,” said Steve Szoke, a 2022 Tribute to Teachers Honoree from Dillard High School.

One of our very first honorees was a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. He was recognized in 2019, on the same day as his birthday, for his work as a JROTC instructor at West Broward High School.

“I traveled the world in the Army, did wonderful things, flew helicopters in the Army, went to exotic places,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Merkel. “This has been the most rewarding thing, because there’s nothing more important than preparing our youth to be the leaders for the future.”

Local 10 wants to honor more deserving teachers and shine a spotlight on the good work they do every day. Beginning April 3, we are asking Local 10 viewers to submit their Tribute to Teachers nominations.

If you know of a Pre-K-12th grade teacher who makes excellence a priority in and outside the classroom, we want to know about him or her.

Tell us, in 250 words or less, why your teacher is deserving of recognition. Along with your nomination form, be sure to upload a picture of your teacher.

A panel of judges will review all the entries received and select five extraordinary teachers. The teachers will have their stories of inspiration told on Local 10 News and shared on The honored teachers will also receive a special surprise. Deadline for entries is Sunday, Apr. 30.

Click here to view contest rules.

About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.