Manchester Middle math teacher Barbara Mottas has been named the 2017 Virginia Region I Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted. This award highlights and recognizes the accomplishments of talented educators providing gifted services to students.
“Teachers like Mrs. Mottas create a thirst for learning through innovative, engaging and relevant techniques that capture students’ interests,” said School Board member Dianne Smith, whose Clover Hill District includes Manchester Middle. “According to colleagues, she is tough when tough is needed and mom when mom is needed. Teachers who care, like Mrs. Mottas, are part of what make our schools so special.”
Mottas was selected as the school division’s Gifted Teacher of the Year, which made her eligible for the regional competition. Mottas’ credentials, experience and recommendations earned her regional recognition.
“Mrs. Mottas is an exemplary math teacher who takes time to understand and educate those students who love math and those who do not,” Manchester Middle Principal Sarah Fraher said. “With her creative and innovative teaching strategies, such as stringing beads across the room to represent Pi, using needlepoint string to create mathematical designs and using catapults for measuring distance and force, she has made a significant impact on students’ success, confidence and achievement.”
The Virginia Association for the Gifted believes that by recognizing the high performance standards set forth by the winners, they will inspire other educators and, and as a result, improve education for the gifted in Virginia.
Mottas has been teaching for 27 years in Chesterfield County Public Schools, with the last 12 years teaching in the center-based gifted program. She currently teaches eighth-grade Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II.