Dakeyan Graham



Square_40GU40_Honorees_Graham__Dakeyan.jpgALUM_40Under40_Logo-white-01.pngDakeyan Graham
BMUSE '07, MM '09 |  Tallahassee, FL

Hillsborough County Public Schools
INDUSTRY: Education


Dr. Dakeyan Cha’ Dre’ Graham, the 2019 Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year, was selected in July 2019 as the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year, representing 74 school districts and more than 195,000 teachers. During the 2019-2020 school year, Dr. Graham was on sabbatical from teaching and served as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education. In this role, he tours the state delivering motivational speeches and workshops focused on empowering teachers to create the most impactful learning experience possible for their students. He currently is serving as the Executive Director in the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice for the Florida Department of Education.

A product of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Dr. Dakeyan Cha’ Dre’ Graham recently served as the Director of Instrumental Studies at his alma mater, C. Leon King High School in Tampa. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education (University of Florida), a Master’s in Educational Leadership (Concordia University), and a Ph.D. in Music Education (University of South Florida). He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Learning Design and Performance Technology at the Florida State University. During his 10 years in HCPS, his students consistently demonstrated determination, focus and tenacity as they earned a performance position in the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

While serving as the president of the Hillsborough Secondary Music Council and founder of the Eastern Coalition of Music Directors, Dr. Graham travels around the state as an adjudicator for both the Florida Bandmasters and Orchestra Associations. In 2012, Dr. Graham was a finalist for Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year and a semi-finalist and quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2013 and 2020, respectively. Dr. Graham has been honored as a 2020 USF Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipient for his work in the field of education.

Dr. Graham is blessed to share life with his wife, Casey (also a former educator), and daughter, Aaliyah. His passion is to fight for ALL students to have an equitable educational experience while continuing to positively impact the next generation of world changers.