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In a surprise announcement, Clayton Nylund, a science teacher at Blake High School in Tampa, Florida, was named one of the five finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year. The recognition came from representatives from the Florida Department of Education and Hillsborough County School District leaders who visited Nylund’s classroom.

At 39 years old, Nylund has been teaching physics and engineering at the school since 2011. He is renowned for his dedication to acquiring knowledge and culture and then passing it on to his students. One of his notable accomplishments was introducing a Principles of Technology course in 2019 that allows students to work on research, design, build, test, and compete with their projects. Students have created various projects such as pinewood derby cars, catapults, rockets, bridges, and mousetrap cars while learning about circuits, coding, programming, and robotics.

The success of Nylund’s curriculum has led to its expansion to six other high schools in the district with nearly 1000 students participating. Earlier this year, Nylund was named Hillsborough Teacher of the Year in recognition of his efforts in class. In his contest essay, he emphasized that students are expected to provide only themselves and a focused mind in his class.

Nylund is one of the top contenders for the prestigious Florida Teacher of the Year award which will be announced on July 25th in Orlando.

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