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First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces 2022–2023 Student and Educator Contests

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the theme for the upcoming 2022–2023 school year student art and essay contests and the Excellence in Education awards – “Celebrating the Achievements of Hispanic, Native American, and Black Floridians.” This year will be the first time that Native American Heritage Month is included in the contests, in addition to the recurring contests for Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month.

“I’m excited to recognize Native American Heritage Month. Our state is rich in contributions from the Hispanic, Native American, and Black communities throughout Florida,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We are honored to highlight their achievements and impact on Florida’s history. These contests will help students learn about Florida’s leaders and their contributions to our great state.”

“The art and essay contests showcase Florida’s talented students and teachers,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “This year’s theme, ‘Celebrating the Achievements of Hispanic, Native American, and Black Floridians,’ will provide a fun challenge for our students and an opportunity for outstanding educators to be recognized. I look forward to seeing the creative ways in which students pay homage to great Floridians through their art and essays.”

“The Seminole Tribe plays an important part in Florida’s history and culture, and we sincerely appreciate being included in this meaningful educational outreach program that reaches students across our state,” said Marcellus Osceola, Jr., Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “We want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, as well as Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr., for their continuing commitment to the Seminole Tribe and the native people of Florida.”

The contests will coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, 2022, Native American Heritage Month in November 2022, and Black History Month in February 2023. The winners of the essay contest will receive a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

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About the Student Art Contest

First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage, Native American Heritage, and Black History Month Art Contests are open to all Kindergarten through third-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year’s theme. Four statewide winners will be selected for each month, and each winner will receive a $100 art supplies gift card and a 1-year pass to Florida state parks.

About the Student Essay Contest

First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage, Native American Heritage, and Black History Month Essay Contests are open to all fourth- through twelfth-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words based on this year’s theme. Six winners will be selected: two elementary school students (grades 4–5), two middle school students (grades 6–8), and two high school students (grades 9–12). Each winner will receive a 2–Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and a $100 gift card for school supplies.

About the Excellence in Education Award

First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage, Native American Heritage, and Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contests are open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Four winners will be selected, and nominations may be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian, or student. Excellence in Education award winners will receive $2,500 from Volunteer Florida and a set of classroom books.

Contest Entries and Nominating Forms and Guidelines

Additional information regarding contest timelines, entries, nominating forms, and guidelines will be available online here

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