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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

School Board Recognitions
May 17, 2016

6. Student, Employee and Public Awards and Recognitions
6A. Educators Rising

One very special theme runs through this evening’s recognitions: They are all to recognize future and current educators. Let’s first meet students who earned first place in the 2016 Educators Rising state competition for aspiring teachers:

From Bayside High School:

  • Danikia Brown, first place in Exploring Non-Core Subject Teaching, for job shadowing a teacher to produce an insightful presentation that spotlights the creative educators who teach non-core subjects—everything from fine arts to world languages to technical and career education.

From Cox High School:

  • Brooke Moore, first place in Educators Rising Leadership for developing a service learning project for individuals with special needs.
  • Emily Staskin, first place in Job Interview which was judged on the grammatical perfection and strength of her cover letter and resume in addition to a mock job interview where she demonstrated depth of responses, professional demeanor and was the panel’s top selection.

From Kellam High School, the team of:

  • Hayden Schwarting and Autumn Guild, first place in an Inside Our Schools Presentation for showcasing one innovative strategy which their school employs to enhance teaching and learning.

From Landstown High School:

  • Marly Lezama, first place in Impromptu Speaking for a presentation that required him—like teachers—to use effective oral communication skills while under pressure—a valuable quality of all educators.

From Ocean Lakes High School:

  • The team of: Jasmine Clanton, Natalie Hackman, Harry Hudome and Kylee Schoolcraft. They won 1st place in Recruitment and Marketing for creating an uplifting movie that celebrates the teaching profession.

And from Tallwood High School:

  • Asia Smith, who won first place in K-3 Children’s Literature for writing and illustrating an imaginative children’s book that delivered an original, meaningful theme; contained a satisfying ending; and reflected professional caliber.

The students before you (plus two others who were unable to join us this evening) won 9 of the 21 events—that’s nearly half of the competition. Please join me in congratulating all of them for their first place wins in the 2016 Educators Rising state competition!

6B. Future Teacher Awards
Next, the School Board is pleased to recognize the 2016 Virginia Beach City Public Schools Future Teacher Award recipients. The purpose of this award, which is administered through the Department of Human Resources, is to honor and reward outstanding students who have indicated their intent to pursue teaching as a career. Each year, any principal whose school has an active Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow or Early Childhood Education program may select up to two award recipients. Here’s the best part: As a recipient, each of tonight’s honorees will be offered a teaching contract with Virginia Beach schools once they earn a degree through an approved teacher education program and meet all regular employment requirements. Let’s meet the honorees:

From Bayside High School: Shyanne Harvey

From Cox High School: Brooke Moore and Emily Staskin

From First Colonial High School: Mariela Valverde andRyan Wichtendahl

From Green Run High School: Jenifer Selph

From Kellam High School: Autumn Guild and Emily Elliott

From Kempsville High School: Emily O’Connor

From Landstown High School: Elena Croy

From Ocean Lakes High School: Jasmine Clanton

From Princess Anne High School: Elizabeth Harper and Dustin Norton

From Salem High School: Jeremy Fernandez and Mallory Wolf

From Tallwood High School: Hunter Monisky

And from the Technical and Career Education Center: Jessica Moore

Please join me in congratulating the recipients of our 2016 Future Teacher Awards!

6C. 2017 VBCPS Citywide Teacher of the Year
Our next honoree is the Citywide Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools: Jenna Free!

An English and Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow teacher at Tallwood High School, Jenna exemplifies an educator who is passionate about teaching. In fact, her principal described it best by saying “When you visit Jenna’s classroom, you enter the most inviting place for students to learn. She takes time to get to know each of them and because of these relationships, she understands what motivates students to learn.”

Jenna’s passion goes far beyond classroom walls. This National Board Certified Teacher (who was selected from an initial pool of 87 Teachers of the Year from across the division), also devotes time to advise:

  • the school’s leadership workshop,
  • Educators Rising program and
  • Poetry Out Loud committee.

She also accompanies Global Studies and World Languages Academy students on trips abroad; serves on multiple school and division committees; is a Virginia Beach schools Design Fellow; and mentors new teachers.

But Jenna almost didn’t become a teacher. She was attending Ohio University preparing for a career in advertising until she met with the university’s Creating Active and Reflective Educators Program. “That’s the moment when I was certain I wanted to be an educator,” Jenna wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. It was a turning point in her life and in the lives of countless students and educators in Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

So tonight we want to say thank you Ohio University for changing Jenna’s mind, but most of all: Congratulations to Jenna Free, the 2017 Citywide Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools!

6D. 2016 Master Dance Educator of the Year
Our final recognition is to recognize an educator who was just named the nation’s pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Master Dance Educator of the Year for 2016. Please welcome: Valerie Winborne!

This award is presented annually by the National Dance Society to recognize excellence in dance education in school districts. Valerie has taught in the division’s Gifted Dance Education Program at Kemps Landing/Old Donation School for eight years now. The program serves more than 350 students and includes instruction in modern, ballet and creative dance techniques as well as the history and theory of dance.

Prior to her teaching career, Valerie lived in New York where she toured nationally and internationally for an award-winning dance company and worked with many of the industry’s most well-known choreographers. Off-stage, Valerie has worked on many outreach projects, including developing a series of commissioned dance therapy workshops that helped abused women, teens at risk of suicide and cancer survivors, among others in need. Today, she continues her community service in Hampton Roads as the founder of an empowerment initiative for at-risk teens that offers classes in creative movement and dance, specifically hip-hop.

It’s easy to see why she is the nation’s 2016 Master Dance Educator of the Year! Congratulations, Valerie Winborne!

Last Modified on Monday, April 23, 2018