Teacher Awards for Chesterfield Schools

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Beginning Teachers of the Year selected

Chesterfield County Public Schools recognized three beginning teachers as the best among their peers during its recent seventh annual Beginning Teachers Awards banquet. This year’s award winners were noted being immediate game changers for their work within their respective schools.

Nearly 40 beginning teachers were nominated by their principal and mentor teacher for recognition. Of those nominated, 10 teachers were selected as finalists. The finalists each wrote a reflection describing the most surprising aspect of their first year of teaching.  These essays were read by a panel, who selected the three beginning teachers of the year.

2019 Elementary School Beginning Teacher of the Year

Eric Dillard teaches special education at Ettrick Elementary. “What sets Eric apart from other first-year teachers is his genuine love for everything and everyone who is part of his school and the surrounding community,” Ettrick Principal Dr. Randi Smith said.

Finalists: Colette Belden (third-grade teacher at Davis Elementary), Lindsey Castle (special education teacher at Bon Air Elementary) and Katharine Price (third-grade teacher at Davis Elementary)

2019 Middle School Beginning Teacher of the Year

Amy Fowler teaches Spanish at Manchester Middle. Her principal, David Altizer, said Ms. Fowler “is instructing unlike any educator he is aware of in CCPS. She is innovating and leading in an entirely different way.”

Finalists: Faith Grubbs (science teacher at Salem Middle) and Emily Skipper (seventh-grade math teacher at Providence Middle)

2019 High School Beginning Teacher of the Year

Hannah Foster teaches French at Midlothian High. Her principal, Dr. Shawn Abel, remarked how influential her efforts have been as a first-year teacher, describing how she “consistently demonstrates a positive attitude and extraordinary work ethic to ensure she provides her students with an engaging and relevant lesson in each of her classes.”

Finalists: Nicole Johnson (geometry teacher at Midlothian High) and Ishaq Lee (school counselor at Thomas Dale High)

Gifted Teachers of the Year selected

Congratulations to Watkins Elementary’s Adrienne Haskins and Robious Middle’s Joanne Stanley, who have been named the 2019 Gifted Teachers of the Year for Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Ms. Haskins was selected the Elementary Gifted Teacher of the Year. A Watkins school counselor noted: “While Adrienne values each student as an individual, it is equally important to her to build a community atmosphere with her students and within her classroom.”

Ms. Stanley is the Secondary Gifted Teacher of the Year. A student noted: “Mrs. Stanley feels when she teaches, and wants others to do the same. She wants us to find power and meaning in the words of others.”

In addition to the local honors, Ms. Stanley recently was named the Virginia Association for the Gifted’s 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region I. She will be recognized at the association’s fall conference in Richmond.

The association’s executive director, Karen Duby, wrote: “Your dedication and productivity in the field of gifted education provide a model for excellent curriculum, instruction and services. The Virginia Association for the Gifted hopes that recognizing your high performance standards will inspire other educators and, as a result, improve education for the gifted in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Art Teachers of the Year selected

Congratulations to these outstanding Chesterfield County art teachers who were chosen as the school division’s top art teachers this year:

  • Elementary School Art Teacher of the Year: Lisa Anderson from Evergreen
  • Middle School Art Teacher of the Year: John Birkeland from Midlothian
  • High School Art Teacher of the Year: Wendy Padgett from Meadowbrook

These awards were voted on by peers and recognize individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to students, visual arts education and serving the greater educational community; display deep content knowledge and superior application of educational practices; and provide advocacy, leadership and contributions to the Art Department and the field of art education.

They will be nominated to the Virginia Art Education Association for their awards process, too.

World Language Teachers of the Year selected

World language educators from across the county gathered recently for the annual World Language Banquet. This year’s recognized instructors included:

  • Joshua Layne, a French teacher at Matoaca High who won the Linda Szwabowski Novice Teacher Award
  • JoAna Smith, a Spanish teacher at Midlothian High who won the Jane Crouch-Rieder Award
  • Ann Noack, a French teacher at Robious Elementary who won the Jane Baskerville Excellence in Teaching Award

Catherine Mazzola, a French teacher at Midlothian High who won the Jane Baskerville Community Award


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