Culinary arts educator named regional Teacher of the Year

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The proof is in the pudding, CTC@Courthouse’s Jurewicz lauded for her innovative teaching

Whoever says you can’t have your cake and eat it too has certainly not yet met Chesterfield County Public Schools Culinary Arts educator Chef Sara Jurewicz. While teaching a virtual class this afternoon, Chef J and her students were surprised with the news that she has been named Virginia’s 2021 Region 1 Teacher of the Year and is now in the running to become the Commonwealth’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.

To celebrate Jurewicz’s success, an entourage of Chesterfield County School Board members, Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty, district senior staff and State Superintendent Dr. James Lane visited the Career and Technical Center @ Courthouse to present her with cake, flowers, balloons and the exciting news.

“Chesterfield County Public Schools is home to some of the best teachers in our country,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty noted. “To be named the best of the best is a tremendous honor for Chef J, given the stiff competition she faced within the county and the region.”

Known as a fun and engaging teacher, Chef Jurewicz encourages students to try different ingredients to solve challenges they are given in a tasty, hands-on learning environment. Those traits, combined with lessons from her own kitchen posted to her YouTube channel while schools were closed last spring, and her ability to help students evolve from burgeoning bakers to future restaurateurs, were the perfect recipe to catch the attention of the local community.

Jurewicz was showcased on the school district’s social media and in the Friday Family Update for her innovation, love of cooking and her zest for life this past spring. She was also featured on a segment of Building Better Minds for bringing families together through cooking. Jurewicz thought the cherry on top was being named Chesterfield County Public Schools’ 2021 Teacher of the Year last spring; however, being named Virginia’s 2021 Region 1 Teacher of the Year today takes the cake.

“Any way you slice it, Chef Jurewicz is creating some really amazing learning experiences and making a difference in the lives of our students and families in such meaningful ways,” Dr. Daugherty added.

Jurewicz joined Chesterfield County Public Schools in 2005 as a culinary arts teacher at James River High. She moved to the Career and Technical Center @ Hull when it opened in 2014 and taught baking and pastry arts. In 2017, she relocated to CTC@Courthouse, where she continues to teach baking and pastry arts.

In addition to Chesterfield County, Region 1 of Virginia encompasses Charles City County, Dinwiddie County, Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, New Kent County, Powhatan County, Prince George County, Surry County, Sussex County and the cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell.

The Virginia Department of Education selects eight regional Teachers of the Year by reviewing information submitted from more than 100 local school systems. This fall, a panel of representatives from professional groups and educational associations will interview the eight regional winners to select the 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year.

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