JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Trina Middleton, a local education director at the Jacksonville School for Autism, was announced as the 2020 Bryant True Hero Award Winner. The award was presented by Amy O’Grady with Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning as part of a national program to honor people who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the Jacksonville, Florida, community.

Charlie's Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning will be partnering with Bryant Heating & Cooling for the installation of a new HVAC system for this local Jacksonville family.

Middleton was honored to accept the title as the 2020 Bryant True Hero. She is the third local Jacksonville, Florida, award winner for the honor of Bryant True Hero.

“This project has always been a unique way to extend our appreciation and support to a Jacksonville family dedicating their time to the community,” said Amy O’Grady, general contractor for Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning.

This year the presentation became the most unique aspect of the process. Trina Middleton was awarded following the current social distancing rules outside of the Jacksonville School for Autism.

Middleton is the education director at the Jacksonville School for Autism, and she has dedicated her life to working with children with special needs. Middleton has worked hard to facilitate the ability for students to receive remote learning during COVID-19. She is also the mother of two grown children and now three adopted siblings under the age of five.

“Trina is simply a gifted individual with children and it takes a special person to connect with children with developmental disabilities,” said Michelle Dunham, executive director Jacksonville School for Autism. “She has not only touched my life and my precious child’s life, but so many other families and children who have been blessed by her love and commitment.”

“Upon meeting Trina Middleton, it was evident that she was unaware of how much impact she had on her peers and community,” said Amy O’Grady with Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning. “She was not expecting the award thanks to all the planning to keep it a surprise even in the midst of stricter requirements. While most of her expression was hidden behind a mask, as she entered the outdoor courtyard you could tell from the gratefulness in her eyes she was just as generous as she was described.”

“Here at Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning, we realize the importance of an educator like Trina Middleton,” said Charlie Marks, owner of Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning. “As a trades-based company, we depend on educators to develop a variety of talents in students. Not just traditional tactics but also a hands-on approach to help the next generation of trades workers prosper. It takes a true hero to do something that so greatly impacts the lives of others while living through a challenge pandemic at the same time. Trina’s ability to adapt her teaching around the needs of her students is a gift that will set her students up for success in the years to come. We are thankful for the impact Trina has made on the students in our community.”

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