Welcome to Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2023 Teacher of the Year Awards
A P.E. teacher who travels around Fairfax County to cheer on his students in their sports games. A STEAM teacher whose elementary school students call her Ms. Awesome. And a high school math teacher who’s helped at-risk students learn algebra and pass an exam required to graduate. Below, meet our 10 Teacher of the Year finalists, including the 2023 winner.
Teacher of the Year Finalists
At Dumfries’ Pattie Elementary School, Kerbaugh helps her students succeed both in and out of the classroom. [READ MORE]
During her nearly 20 years at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Ms. T. has quintupled band enrollment. [READ MORE]
The Stratford Landing Elementary School PE teacher focuses on building bonds with his nearly 750 students and their parents. [READ MORE]
As a first grade teacher, Van Hook helps Glebe Elementary School’s youngest students learn to love reading. [READ MORE]
An outdoor classroom, school garden, and interactive labs are just some of the ways this Gar-Field High School alum-turned-biology teacher brings science to life. [READ MORE]
The STEAM educator’s passion for science is contagious at Oak Street Elementary School. [READ MORE]
The Patrick Henry K-8 School teacher uses virtual reality and bubbles to make science a little less scary for her seventh graders. [READ MORE]
Led by Issa, the Washington-Liberty High School theater department has become a safe space where students can grow. [READ MORE]
Northern Virginia Magazine polled readers, schools, and community members to find educators deserving of our Teacher of the Year Award and its $10,000 prize. We narrowed the pool of nominees and assembled a panel of expert judges to vote on the finalists. After reading through each teacher’s supporting materials, which included essays from principals, assistant principals, colleagues, parents, and current and former students, as well as each teacher’s résumé, the judges each selected their top three candidates in ranked order. The criteria included each teacher’s ability to inspire students to learn; demonstrate leadership within the school and community; develop cooperative relationships with parents; and master knowledge of their subject matter, in addition to their overall impression of the educator’s accomplishments.
Meet the Judges
President, Virginia PTA
Alexander has served in PTA roles at the local, county, state, and national level. She is committed to building thriving school communities through family engagement and by advocating for resources to improve student success and well-being.
2022 Teacher of the Year
Arzoomanian, a third grade teacher in Arlington, was Northern Virginia Magazine’s inaugural Teacher of the Year. She was selected for her exceptional dedication to teaching and commitment to nonprofit work.
Executive Director, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals
A lifelong educator with 36 years in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Barton-Arnold spent 18 years as an elementary principal. She was elected to her position at VAESP in September 2021.
Director, Executive Ed.D. Programs, William & Mary School of Education
Constantino has over 30 years of public school experience and is an Executive Associate Professor of Education Policy, Planning, and Leadership at the William & Mary School of Education.
James J. Fedderman
President, Virginia Education Association
A music teacher from Accomack County, Fedderman was elected to his post at the Virginia Education Association in 2020 and re-elected in 2022. He’s worked in public education since 1998.
Aimee Rogstad Guidera
Virginia Secretary of Education
Guidera oversees education from pre-K through postsecondary in the commonwealth of Virginia. She previously served as a strategic consultant helping states, foundations, companies, and nonprofits with their efforts to improve student learning.
Dean, College of Education, University of Mary Washington
Kelly has taught special education in middle schools and has also taught in psychiatric hospitals and in the Kansas Department of Corrections. He serves as convener for Virginia’s education deans and leaders group, consisting of leaders from colleges and universities across the state.
Julie K. Kidd
Professor Emerita of Education, George Mason University
Kidd specializes in preparing educators to work with children from a range of cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds who bring diversity to early childhood education settings.
Professor of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University
Kitsantas focuses her research, in part, on self-regulated learning and peak performance in academics. She has served as the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Experimental Education.
Anne M. Kress
President, Northern Virginia Community College
Kress is the president of NOVA, a six-campus institution serving nearly 75,000 students. Kress came to the college after nearly three decades in higher education, including as a tenured English professor. Kress focuses on fulfilling the college’s commitment to equity in opportunity.
State Sen. Richard L. Saslaw
Majority Leader, Virginia Senate
Saslaw serves as chairman of the Senate Finance K–12 subcommittee and champions public education as a senior-ranking member of the Senate Education & Health committee.
Director, School of Education, Marymount University
Turissini has served in this position as Director and Chair of Education since 2013. She has spent more than 35 years in education, including as a school principal and executive vice president of schools.
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