Tara Brunyansky of James River High School is named 2015 Teacher of the Year for Chesterfield County Public Schools

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Watkins Elementary

Debbie Bailey at Watkins Elementary

Carver Middle

Chuck Rhode at Carver Middle

Surprise and excitement were among the emotions running through Chesterfield County schools today when three teachers learned they are the school division’s top Teachers of the Year. School and county leaders brought flowers, banners, cakes and balloons as they announced the awards:

●    Tara Brunyansky is Chesterfield’s Teacher of the Year, as well as Chesterfield’s High School Teacher of the Year. Brunyansky teaches chemistry and forensic chemistry at James River High. She has taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools since 1996; she began her career at Thomas Dale High, then moved in 2006 to James River High. Brunyansky earned a bachelor’s degree from Brock University, a master’s degree in secondary education from Canisius College and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences/forensic drug chemistry from the University of Florida.

●    Chuck Rhode is Chesterfield’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. He teaches music at Watkins Elementary. Rhode has taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools since 1985; he began at Chalkley Elementary, then moved in 1992 to Watkins Elementary. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University and a master of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

●    Debbie Bailey is Chesterfield’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. She teaches civics and economics at Carver Middle. After graduating from Thomas Dale High School, Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, then returned to Thomas Dale as a teacher in 1984. The next year, she moved to Chester Middle where she taught until joining the Carver Middle faculty in 2010.

In letters to the Teachers of the Year, Superintendent Marcus Newsome wrote, “Teaching is a collaborative profession — consulting with colleagues, sharing ideas with administrators and partnering with parents. Teaching and teamwork have more in common than just the first three letters of each word. But in every school and at every level, certain teachers stand out as being among the best in our profession. These teachers demonstrate care and compassion, stress the importance of rigor and relationships and do the extra things necessary to help move our students toward success.”

Annually, every Chesterfield County school selects a Teacher of the Year. Chesterfield County Public Schools selects from those honorees an Elementary School Teacher of the Year, a Middle

School Teacher of the Year and a High School Teacher of the Year, then chooses the countywide Teacher of the Year from those three honorees. The next step is submitting Brunyansky’s nomination to the Virginia Department of Education, which will select eight regional Teachers of the Year from across the state, then will choose the Virginia Teacher of the Year from the eight regional winners.

Here are the 2015 Teachers of the Year from Chesterfield County Public Schools:

Elementary schools

  • Chuck Rhode is Chesterfield’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Watkins Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
  • Bellwood — Kimberly Bender
  • Bensley — Dianna Jones
  • Beulah — Nichole Niemaseck
  • Bon Air — Shannon Murray
  • Chalkley — Emily Shields
  • Marguerite Christian — Amy Moody
  • Clover Hill — Rhonda Blake
  • Crenshaw — Kelly Jones
  • Crestwood — Christy Jeter
  • Curtis — Judy Kibiloski
  • Davis — Jennifer Jones
  • Ecoff — Meredith Booth
  • Enon — Elizabeth Molter
  • Ettrick — Stephanie Haines
  • Evergreen — Barrie Owen
  • Falling Creek — Tiffany Mayo
  • Gates — Stephanie Loker
  • Gordon — James Wright
  • Grange Hall — Rachel Sova
  • Greenfield — Diane Barrett
  • Harrowgate — Frederick Klevinsky
  • Hening — Dawn King
  • Hopkins — Tonya Coleman
  • Jacobs Road — Meghan Whitney
  • Matoaca — Angel Froggatt
  • Providence — Brenda Starr
  • Reams Road — Barbara Bing
  • Robious — Allison Ferguson
  • Salem Church — Anne Palisano
  • Elizabeth Scott — Tracey Curcio
  • Alberta Smith — Evelyn Oakley
  • Spring Run — Stacie Sydow
  • Swift Creek — Susan Wyman
  • Watkins — Chuck Rhode
  • Bettie Weaver — Christine Payne
  • Wells — Sherry Nyquist
  • Winterpock — Amy Majetic
  • Woolridge — Jacquelyn Scates

Middle schools

  • Debbie Bailey is Chesterfield’s Middle School Teacher of the Year and Carver Middle’s Teacher of the Year.
  • Bailey Bridge — Katherine Page
  • Carver — Debbie Bailey
  • Elizabeth Davis — Sherrie Waddill
  • Falling Creek — Cecelia Smith
  • Manchester — Ellen Staton
  • Matoaca — Kayala Jensen
  • Midlothian — Kerri Bilthuis
  • Providence — Valerie Dieter
  • Robious — Allison Couillard
  • Salem Church — Janine D’Elia
  • Swift Creek — Jonathan Ferguson
  • Tomahawk Creek — Martha Hudson

High schools

Tara Brunyansky is Chesterfield’s Teacher of the Year, Chesterfield’s High School Teacher of the Year and James River High’s Teacher of the Year.

  • Bird — Charles Banister
  • Chesterfield Community — Erin Peebles
  • Chesterfield Technical Center — Robert Gangwer
  • Clover Hill — Amanda Berneche
  • Cosby — TuRhonda Morrison
  • Thomas Dale — Jan Collins
  • James River — Tara Brunyansky
  • Manchester — Margaret Jackson
  • Matoaca — Susan Hester
  • Meadowbrook — Jeffry Clevenger
  • Midlothian — Badr Sharobim
  • Monacan — Clare Tilton