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Polk teacher named AFA’s National Aerospace 'Teacher of the Year' | Community Spirit

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Polk teacher named AFA’s National Aerospace 'Teacher of the Year'
Polk teacher named AFA’s National Aerospace 'Teacher of the Year'

BARTOW, FL-- Lori Beth Bradner, a science instructor at Valleyview Elementary is the recipient of the Air Force Association’s (AFA) National Teacher of the Year award. AFA’s National Aerospace Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who inspire enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among kindergarten through 12th grade students.

She received a $3,000 prize and a plaque for her achievement during an awards ceremony held Saturday, September 15 in Washington, D.C.

Of this achievement she says, “I am still pinching myself! I can’t believe I was nominated and won. I am so proud to represent Polk County Public Schools and serve as the National STEM Education Ambassador for the U.S. Air Force Association.”

Mrs. Bradner continues that she is most passionate about encouraging young people to develop their interest in the sciences. “Educating young people in STEM creates adults who are innovative thinkers capable of finding solutions to world problems. Interest in these areas should be encouraged. We need to continue to work towards crafting challenging and engaging curriculum that nurtures such interests.”

Mrs. Bradner is a faculty member at Valleyview Elementary, but still maintains strong ties to Kathleen High School-Central Florida Aerospace Academy where she worked for a decade.

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association that promotes public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA is led by volunteer leaders at the national, state and local levels. The organization has more than 230 chapters across the country. 

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