Eight in the Running for 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year

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Commonwealth’s Top Teacher will be Announced September 18 in Richmond

Eight teachers today learned of their selection as 2018 Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year during surprise classroom visits, school assemblies and announcements by their division superintendents and Virginia Department of Education representatives. Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Education Dietra Trent were present for the regional announcement in Henrico County, while First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe was on hand in Arlington County for the regional announcement there.

In recognizing and honoring these eight teachers, the commonwealth is learning something their colleagues already know,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Each is a leader in public education who goes above and beyond to prepare students for a successful future in our new Virginia economy.”

“These teachers expect and inspire high achievement from their students,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “The example they set is an inspiration to the teaching profession. We are pleased to recognize them as representatives of the great teaching in classrooms across the commonwealth.” Staples was in Smyth County for the regional announcement.

The eight 2018 Regional Teachers of the Year announced are as follows:

  • Greenlee B. Naughton, an English teacher at Highland Springs High in Henrico County (Region 1)
  • Theresa A. Guthrie Goltermann, a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) electives teacher at Tabb Middle in York County (Region 2)
  • Sarah M. Adamson-Mair, a kindergarten teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Caroline County (Region 3)
  • Michelle Cottrell-Williams, a social studies teacher at Wakefield High in Arlington County (Region 4)
  • Russell T. Jennings, an agriculture teacher at Fluvanna County High in Fluvanna County (Region 5)
  • Karey A. Henzey, a special education teacher at West Salem Elementary in Salem (Region 6)
  • Chrystle M. Gates, a music teacher at Chilhowie Elementary in Smyth County (Region 7)
  • Tiffany W. Lynch, an English teacher at Park View High in Mecklenburg County (Region 8)

The teachers were selected from among candidates nominated by school divisions in each of the state’s eight superintendents’ regions. The candidates submitted portfolios highlighting their accomplishments, educational philosophies and community activities.

A panel, including classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year Toney McNair Jr. of Indian River Middle in Chesapeake reviewed the portfolios and selected the eight regional teachers of the year. Next week, the same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The decision will be announced on September 18 during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

The 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year Program. The recognition is given by the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with Voya Financial. Two previous Virginia teachers – B. Philip Bigler, the 1998 Virginia Teacher of the Year, and Mary V. Bicouvaris, the 1989 Virginia Teacher of the Year – went on to be named as a National Teacher of the Year.

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