Tracey Zaval, a Midlothian Middle teacher and a former Region I Teacher of the Year, recently was named the 2017 Virginia Council for the Social Studies (VCSS) Teacher of the Year. This award is presented annually at the state conference to a Virginia social studies teacher who exemplifies mastery teaching and demonstrates a commitment to student learning. Zaval was recognized for her ability to promote problem-solving and civic action in the classroom.
“Ms. Zaval is emblematic of the amazing teachers we have in our classrooms,” said School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, whose district includes Midlothian Middle. “She creates a fun, innovative classroom environment where kids love to learn. She’s the type of teacher who guides students through hands-on learning programs that not only meet curriculum requirements but provide important authentic lessons about good citizenship.”
Zaval, who has taught for 19 years, teaches eighth-grade civics and economics at Midlothian Middle. Previously, she was a teacher at Robious Middle.
“Ms. Zaval’s ability to create a learning environment where kids flourish is well-known within the Midlothian community,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “We’re excited that her engaging and innovative work has been recognized as a model for others. She truly is a teacher leader.”
The award was presented to Zaval at the Virginia Conference for Social Studies Educators on Nov. 3 in Richmond. The award comes with a $500 stipend for professional development purposes, an honorary position on the VCSS board of directors and an opportunity to present at the 2018 conference. In addition, VCSS will nominate Zaval for the National Council for the Social Studies Middle Level Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award.