Balloons, banners and flowers greeted three teachers at Chesterfield County schools today as School Board members and school division leaders announced the 2019 Teachers of the Year for elementary, middle and high schools and the countywide Teacher of the Year at surprise celebrations during national Teacher Appreciation Week.
Sixth-grade students and staff members at Providence Middle believed they were getting ready for an SOL Pep Rally, given that the students are taking their first Standards of Learning test as middle schoolers early next week. Instead, they were treated to a surprise announcement that Providence Middle sixth-grade science teacher Nicole Rowland is Chesterfield County Public Schools’ 2019 Teacher of the Year, as well as the school division’s 2019 Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Rowland is known for her forward thinking, including her work to create a new class, Innovations and Inventions, that will equip students with the 21st century skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world. She is also recognized for her use of project-based learning and technology in the classroom, which are providing students with authentic-learning opportunities that connect classroom learning to real-world experiences. Her willingness to let student interests drive instruction while still weaving in the necessary content shows that she understands how to reach her students.
“Ms. Rowland’s principal notes that our Teacher of the Year is a ‘master teacher’ and that other Providence teachers have become ‘better educators’ due to her support and expertise,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, the Midlothian District School Board member who represents part of the student enrollment at Providence Middle. “She not only believes in her students but inspires them to believe in themselves.”
“Her project-based learning exercise related to Earth Day resulted in students believing that they have the power to change the world,” added Dianne Smith, the Clover Hill District School Board member who represents part of the student enrollment at Providence Middle as well. “Ms. Rowland is changing lives, and our community, for the better!”
Tara Krohn is Chesterfield County Public Schools’ 2019 Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She is a second-grade teacher at Woolridge Elementary. Krohn is known for her hands-on, engaging, unscripted instructional approach that is a perfect fit for students with different learning styles.
“Mrs. Krohn’s administrators and colleagues speak very highly of her passion to educate each child as needed,” said School Board Vice Chair Rob Thompson, who represents Woolridge Elementary as the Matoaca District member. “She literally becomes who her students need her to be through engagement, voice and costume. She is a fantastic teacher who knows how to connect with her class.”
Jackie Tully is Chesterfield County Public Schools’ 2019 High School Teacher of the Year. She teaches English at Midlothian High. Tully is known for her work with the county’s first-ever online newspaper and a Service Learning class that is preparing high school students to be future teachers.
“As a colleague noted: Through numerous observations and constant feedback, Ms. Tully helps students find and develop a love and understanding of teaching,” said Dr. Siddiqi, who also represents Midlothian High. “The constant guidance and support she shows our Service Learning students provide them with the skills necessary to mimic her behavior in the classrooms they visit. Thus, the community Jackie has created in her classroom transcends the walls of Midlothian.”
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, and ultimately chooses the countywide Teacher of the Year from those three honorees. King’s nomination will be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education, which will select eight regional Teachers of the Year from across the state.
“We’re blessed to have some of the country’s best teachers working right here in Chesterfield County!” Superintendent James Lane said. “I’m so proud of each of our Teachers of the Year and the difference they are making in our schools. Recognizing the best of the best is a great way to close our Teacher Appreciation Week. Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all of our staff members who are working hard to imagine tomorrow for our students.”
Here are the Teachers of the Year from Chesterfield County Public Schools: